Summary: What is meaningful use? What are the characteristics of each of the 3 stages? What are the deadlines to comply?Meaningful use

What is meaningful use?

Meaningful use a program set forth by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services which governs the use of electronic health records. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and the Affordable Care Act Section 1561 give authority to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to improve processes related to electronic health records by providing incentives for compliance.

What are the benefits of meaningful use?

  • Complete and accurate information
  • Increased accessibility to information
  • Increased patient empowerment

What are the timeframes associated with compliance to the Meaningful Use stages?

  • Stage 1 – 2011-2012
  • Stage 2 – 2014
  • Stage 3 – 2016

What are the areas of focus for Stage 1? Beginning the journey

  • Electronically capturing health information in a standardized format
  • Using that information to track key clinical conditions
  • Communicating that information for care coordination processes
  • Initiating the reporting of clinical quality measures and public health information
  • Using information to engage patients and their families in their care
  • Providers to enter medication orders electronically for at least 30% of their patients

What are the areas of focus for Stage 2? Data Sharing

  • More rigorous health information exchange
  • Increased requirements for e-prescribing and incorporating lab results
  • Electronic submission of patient care summaries across multiple settings
  • More patient-controlled data
  • Providers to enter medication orders electronically for at least 60% or their patients

What are the areas of focus for Stage 3? Patient Engagement

  • Improving quality, safety and efficiency leading to improved health outcomes
  • Decision support for national high-priority conditions
  • Patient access to self-management tools
  • Ability for patients to submit electronically self-generated information
  • Access to comprehensive patient data through patient centered HIE
  • Improving population health

Next steps:

  • CMS just closed Stage 3 for comments and questions
  • Need to finalize and publish final regulations

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