Stage 2 Meaningful Use: Weighing In

Well, the march towards the Stage 2 requirements for meaningful use is in full swing with comments flying in from many different sources about what Stage 2 — and ultimately Stage 3 — should look like. iHealthBeat has been posting entries as additional comments become public (see “Related Articles” on the link provided). Recently, 39 organizations submitted joint comments. (Disclosure alert: ACP contributed to this letter and endorsed it with the other 38 organizations.)

Since there is considerable uncertainty about what Stages 2 and 3 will require — and frankly questions about whether the timing for each may change — the best advice is to focus on what is known (i.e. the current requirements). Make sure your practice can meet and/or exceed the Stage 1 requirements as many of the Stage 2 expectations will be extensions of Stage 1.

Regardless of how the MU requirements evolve, let us remember that the goal should be to improve the health of people who entrust us with their care. Therefore, even as the debate about new requirements is taking place, prepared and proactive practices should:

  • Look for opportunities to identify gaps in care for individuals and populations, especially patients at high risk for clinical complications by virtue of their underlying conditions, socio-economic situations, or behavior.
  • Improve access and continuity of care through the use of email, web visits, care plans, etc.
  • Engage patients/families in self-management.
  • Share information electronically with patients.
  • Implement evidence-based guidelines and clinical decision support.
  • Introduce quality improvement initiatives based on data.

Question: What innovative ideas have you developed to address real clinical situations using your EHR or practice management system?

This post is the personal opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the American College of Physicians (ACP). ACP does not endorse a specific EHR brand or product and ACP makes no representations, warranties, or assurances as to the accuracy or completeness of the information provided herein.

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