The federal government should “immediately adopt” proposed changes to Stage 2 meaningful use requirements for the Medicare & Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive Programs and delay finalizing a rule for Stage 3 requirements until 2017, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) told the committee today at a hearing on improving care through patient access to records. “Patients need an interoperable system that enables doctors and hospitals to share their electronic health records, but the government, doctors and hospitals need time to do it right,” Alexander said. “Some hospitals have told me they are ‘terrified’ by the prospect of Stage 3. It does not help patients to make these massive changes fast and wrong. It does help patients to do this deliberately and correctly so that hospitals and doctors embrace the changes instead of dread them.” Testifying at the hearing, Raj Ratwani, scientific director for MedStar Health’s National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, recommended refocusing certification requirements to promote “true usability,” among other changes. Also testifying at the hearing were Kathy Giusti, executive chairman of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, and Eric Dishman, general manager for health and life sciences at Intel Corp.