Putting the Meaningful in Meaningful Use
Meeting current criteria while preparing for the future
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services designed Meaningful Use (MU) requirements to encourage healthcare organizations to adopt electronic health records (EHRs) and use them in a “meaningful way” to improve patient care. Yet the question remains: What does it really mean to use technology in a “meaningful” way?
Some would say it involves leveraging technology to integrate and share information seamlessly across the care continuum. Others might mention that accurate reporting is key to enabling providers to use comprehensive data when making critical care decisions. While both of these components are important, the true realization of “meaningful use” comes when technology is used in a way that fundamentally enhances patient care and improves the patient experience. Reaching this goal requires organizations to keep patients top-of-mind throughout technology implementation—and beyond.
Rather than focusing on adopting technologies that “check the boxes” for MU Stage 1, organizations must keep their emphasis on the patient. Think years down the road, when MU incentive dollars are no longer on the table. Will the technology in place best serve the long-term needs of the organization and the patient?
To that end, this white paper offers strategies for taking a patient-centered approach to Stage 1 and Stage 2 MU efforts. More specifically, it discusses how the use of robust technology – including data-enriched patient portals – can help organizations successfully meet MU requirements now and in the future, while still keeping focus squarely on what is important: sustaining meaningful relationships with patients.
Meeting MU Objectives and Reporting Requirements
MU criteria are staged in three progressive levels that aim to move a healthcare organization from: 1) initial data capture; to 2) consistent and seamless information sharing; to 3) clinical process enhancement and outcomes improvement.
Costs and Limitations Apply.