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Understanding Meaningful Use Of EHR Systems

Oct 15th 2015 at 10:50 PM

Use of EHR systems is rapidly gaining in popularity and it is anticipated that there will be considerable improvements in the fields like patient care, decreased cost of treatment as well as improved productivity and revenue generation. While going through the selection process of qualified EHR products one must make sure that it meets the Federal Medicare requirements for meaningful use. The phrase EHR meaningful use refers to a set of criteria for using these systems for improving the quality of patient care offered by the healthcare service providers. It is the national Quality Forum or NQF that has come up and developed the concept of meaningful use and these criteria include – improved population health, better coordination of patient care, improved safety and patient engagement among a few others.

According to the Healthcare Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act USA, healthcare organizations using certified EHR software receive establishment incentives for adopting the meaningful use criteria and there will also be possible penalties if they fail to achieve these standards by the end of the year 2015. But one must also keep in mind that converting to EHR or EMR software can be pretty overwhelming for most small practices.

According to the Institute of Medicine, every year close to hundred thousand Americans die due to preventable medical errors that is more than the combined number of people who died due to AIDS, breast cancer and automobile accidents. It was also found that around 80% of these errors were caused by miscommunication. There is certainly a demand for better communication and more accountable healthcare services along with improvement in clinical care management and adoption of health information technology and development of a nationwide Health Information exchange was mandated by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology through the HITECH Act in the year 2009.

The term EHR meaningful use refers to the extent to which electronic health records is utilized by the healthcare service provider and according to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ‘meaningful use’ is defined as:

• Use of certified EHR software for meaningful purposes like e-prescribing
• Use of this technology for exchanging digitized health information for improvement of healthcare quality
• Use of certified EHR systems for clinical quality report submission and other measures.

Three stages of meeting this definition has also been identified by the government and those three stages are – capturing all available data electronically, expanding this stage for reporting and tracking health information and clinical conditions and lastly to improve the efficiency, safety, quality, performance and outcome of healthcare services. It is important to note that EHR meaningful use also includes a core set and menu set of objectives specific to eligible professionals or hospitals. Anybody interested can visit the CMS website to learn all the above mentioned metrics in detail. The ability of the prescriber to electronically send accurate, error-free and understandable health information is also an important criterion upon which the success of the system is heavily dependent. For more information on meaningful use of certified EHR software you can visit Practicestudio.net.

About The Author

Allison Chase is an expert in electronic medical records systems who also likes to write many interesting articles and blogs on the topic, educating people about this technology and talking extensively about the benefits of this service. She recommends PracticeStudio.net as the most trustworthy name in this business.

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