Meaningful use criteria proposed

Finally, a step forward in the vague standards regarding electronic medical records (EMRs): A government agency has created “meaningful use” recommendations. To be reimbursed for the installation of EMRs under Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), medical professionals must use a “certified” EMR in a “meaningful” way. To this point, however, exactly what “meaningful” meant has been up for debate—and without a definition, medical professionals had two unappealing choices: wait to buy an EMR, or buy an EMR not knowing if it would meet future standards. Now, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology has made recommendations regarding meaningful use criteria. E-prescribing, checking for drug-to-drug interactions, and maintaining an updated problem list are among them. Physicians must also use these features in their practice on a daily basis to show meaningful use of their EMR system. There’s still a long road ahead: The recommendations must be approved by David Blumenthal, the national coordinator for health IT, after which they will be submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Then, CMS will use these recommendations to make the final meaningful use rules, which are due in December. This news makes it safer for medical professionals to implement EHRs now, provided that you use a reputable vendor. Larger vendors have the resources to upgrade their products as necessary to meet meaningful use criteria. In fact, many are assuring customers they’ll make any necessary changes, and some are offering money-back guarantees if they don’t.

Finally, a step forward in the vague standards regarding electronic medical records (EMRs): A government agency has created “meaningful use” recommendations.

To be reimbursed for the installation of EMRs under Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), medical professionals must use a “certified” EMR in a “meaningful” way.

To this point, however, exactly what “meaningful” meant has been up for debate—and without a definition, medical professionals had two unappealing choices: wait to buy an EMR, or buy an EMR not knowing if it would meet future standards.

Now, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology has made recommendations regarding meaningful use criteria. E-prescribing, checking for drug-to-drug interactions, and maintaining an updated problem list are among them.

Physicians must also use these features in their practice on a daily basis to show meaningful use of their EMR system.

There’s still a long road ahead: The recommendations must be approved by David Blumenthal, the national coordinator for health IT, after which they will be submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Then, CMS will use these recommendations to make the final meaningful use rules, which are due in December.

This news makes it safer for medical professionals to implement EHRs now, provided that you use a reputable vendor. Larger vendors have the resources to upgrade their products as necessary to meet meaningful use criteria. In fact, many are assuring customers they’ll make any necessary changes, and some are offering money-back guarantees if they don’t.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.