The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) will soon release a description of the “meaningful use” of electronic medical records (EMR). Until HHS releases what it will require for a EHR user to receive the EHR stimulus money, then it’s anybody’s guess just what the heck meaningful use of an EHR actually means, please forgive the pun 😉
I can think of a number of factors that may or may not be part of this aspect of the standard:
- The number of years the practice has used the system within the practice. Part of the way the money is being passed out is to encourage early adopters, they actual get a bigger incentive to convert to an EMR.
- Does the data on the system get passed to other systems. In other words, is the data transparent and can other systems export and import the demographic and clinical information. A simple example is placing a lab test and recieving the results back into the EMR.
- Does the system improve the quality of care. Well duh, but I bet this is the hardest part to quantify but isn’t this the most important factor.
By Jordan Glogau
But as I’ve read the healthcare blogs I’ve seen another thought about meaningful use. The concept evolves around that concept that “meaningful use” should somehow measure if the user(s) is/are move effective in their practive of medicine with the system. From a productivity vantage key to measure this would be great but even more difficult to define.