Information Week, February 22, 2012. The annual HIMSS conference provided the venue for a preliminary walk through of the proposed Stage 2 Meaningful Use regulations by the national coordinator for health IT, Dr. Farzad Mostashari. According to Mostashari, eligible providers will have to comply with 17 core requirements (up from 15 in Stage 1) and 3 of 5 menu items. After publication of the proposed regulations in the Federal Register on Thursday February 23rd, a 60 day period of public comment will begin. Some of the Stage 1 criteria will remain unchanged, others modified and additional new requirements added.
- A strong push by 2014 towards wider use of standard clinical terminologies such as LOINC and Snomed CT (Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine – Clinical Terms);
- Enhancements to medication reconciliation;
- Improvements in the safety of EHRs;
- New vendor requirements for usability;
- Increased flexibility in reporting requirements. For example, physician groups of a certain size will be able to report quality data for their groups;
- The ability to assemble EHR modules in order to meet the Meaningful Use requirements vs. needing to use a complete EHR system;
- The ability to view images as a new optional menu item;
- Increased connectivity to registries, including cancer registries;
- An increase in the number of decision support elements that must be used;
- Enhancements to EHRs that will facilitate secure clinical messaging.
Stage 2 regulations will establish a higher bar for vendors and eligible providers. The federal government is continuing to drive forward with the health IT agenda. If you are an eligible provider, what has been your experience with Meaningful Use Stage 1? How well are you positioned to comply with the higher expectations of Stage 2?