Meaningful Use Rant 2: Hospital Growth Charts
So this is the second in a series of rants regarding some of the more silly aspects of the Meaningful Use Stage 1 Final Rule. Let’s visit core obective 7 for hospitals (pg 257 Fed Reg):
(7)(i) Objective. Record and chart changes in the following vital signs:
(C) Blood pressure.
(D) Calculate and display body mass index (BMI).
(E) Plot and display growth charts for children 2–20 years, including BMI.
The writers of the Meaningful Use rules were on a good roll there. A through D are totally reasonable. I believe every EHR should capture these things and hospital should be document these vital signs for most inpatient stays.
My best friend’s Dad ran a manufacturing plant. I remember him saying that the way to find the optimal setting on a piece of equipment is to turn the dial until it breaks, then go back one setting. I kind of feel that is what happened with this objective. They should have stopped at (D). Growth charts are great, every pediatric practice should maintain one for each child, and in this day and age they should be computerized. But why would a growth chart be a requirement for a hospital stay? Does that make any sense? I have spoken to a few pediatricians and none of them have stated that there is a medical need for a growth chart in the hospital stay.
This looks like a sloppy cut and paste from the Eligible Provider Objectives to the hospital objectives without thinking through the different environments.
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