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Meaningful use of electronic health records

Publish Date: 2/27/2012

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) provide financial incentives to facilities when they “meaningfully use” electronic health records (EHRs) to achieve reductions in errors and to support clinical decision making, the prescribing of medication, and the availability of medical records. What they mean by this may not be easy to determine so CMS has outlined the criteria to aid health care providers and facilities in meeting these goals and receiving the incentives.1

According to the CMS, meaningful use means that providers must be able to show that they are using certified HER technology in ways that can be measured significantly in quality and quantity.1 An example of this would be using the AORN Syntegrity™ Standardized Perioperative Framework to document nursing care provided in the OR or for a facility to use e-prescribing to write medication orders.

Stage 1 of this program’s implementation (ie, setting the baseline for electronic data capturing and information sharing) began in 2010 and concludes in 2012. Stage 2 is expected to be implemented in 2012 and Stage 3 in 2015. Both Stage 2 and 3 will continue and expand the implementation process. To help providers understand and meet these goals, the CMS offers an overview  with detailed instructions and explanations.1

  1. CMS EHR Meaningful Use Overview. CMS.gov.
    http://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms/30_Meaningful_Use.asp.   Accessed February 24, 2012.
     

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