A CMS press release from a few weeks ago provided an update on the EHR Incentive Programs. Specifically, the release discussed the real impact of Meaningful Use requirements on the nation’s health care system.
The following blog post highlights the effect meaningful use objectives are having on patients, providers, and the nation’s public health.
Many meaningful use requirements directly affect patients, whether through giving them greater access to their health information or through enhanced engagement and collaboration with their providers. Whether they have received an electronic reminder about follow–up–care, or accessed an electronic copy of their health information following an appointment, patients are experiencing positive changes in how they interact with the health care system because of health information technology.
Some meaningful use requirements are focused on helping providers make more informed decisions, deliver better care, and create greater efficiencies. These tools can help to prevent duplicative testing, eliminate adverse drug reactions, and enhance provider collaboration.
Because millions of lab results were entered into EHRs, millions of medication reconciliations were performed, and millions of transitions of care summaries were generated, providers across the nation were able to access more information about their patients, better enabling them to provide the right care at the right time.
Stage 1 meaningful use menu objectives encourage providers to send data to immunization registries and public health agencies. Stage 2 will continue to encourage the transmission of data to registries and public health agencies to inform health care policy decisions, drive best practices, and improve our nation’s public health.
As more providers continue to successfully participate in the EHR Incentive Programs, and as current meaningful users become more advanced in their implementation, the CMS expects the impact of meaningful use on the health care industry to continue to grow, and patients to reap the benefits of improved outcomes. They look forward to sharing new data and results in the future.