EHR Meaningful Use Should Be Much Simpler

Posted on July 14, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I came across this blog post which had the actual definition of meaningful use as listed in the HITECH act itself. Check it out:

‘(2) MEANINGFUL EHR USER.— ‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—For purposes of paragraph (1), an eligible professional shall be treated as a meaningful EHR user for an EHR reporting period for a payment year (or, for purposes of subsection (a)(7), for an EHR reporting period under such subsection for a year) if each of the following requirements is met: ‘‘(i) MEANINGFUL USE OF CERTIFIED EHR TECHNOLOGY.—The eligible professional demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary, in accordance with subparagraph (C)(i), that during such period the profes- sional is using certified EHR technology in a meaning- ful manner, which shall include the use of electronic prescribing as determined to be appropriate by the Secretary. ‘‘(ii) INFORMATIONEXCHANGE.—The eligible profes- sional demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary, in accordance with subparagraph (C)(i), that during such period such certified EHR technology is connected in a manner that provides, in accordance with law and standards applicable to the exchange of information, for the electronic exchange of health information to improve the quality of health care, such as pro- moting care coordination. ‘‘(iii) REPORTING ON MEASURES USINGE HR.—Subject to subparagraph (B)(ii) and using such certified EHR technology, the eligible professional submits information for such period, in a form and manner specified by the Secretary, on such clinical quality measures and such other measures as selected by the Secretary under subparagraph (B)(i).

Look at the definition. It defines a few simple things that should be required to show meaningful use:
* Electronic Prescribing
* Electronic Exchange of Health Information
* Reporting of Health Data

I’ve commented before that the meaningful use matrix was too much and this makes me wonder if HHS is being too ambitious as they look at this legislation. I think if the ARRA EHR stimulus money could achieve these three items it would be money well spent.