Meaningful Use and EMR Software Comparison

Meaningful Use is the hottest buzzword in Health IT right now. The PCAST report (President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology) provided this summary: Recent Federal legislation has charted a new path forward. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, authorized expenditures of at least $20 billion to promote the adoption and use of EHR technologies that would ideally be connected through a national health information network. Hospitals and physicians who make “meaningful use” of interoperable EHRs can qualify for extra payments through Medicare and Medicaid.

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Vendors are quickly pursuing Meaningful Use certification for 3rd parties such as CCHIT. To qualify for these incentive dollars, providers must be using a Meaningful Use certified EMR product. That’s only one of many requirements that will incur workflow changes and additional possible investments. Providers and administrators are encouraged to consider Meaningful Use when beginning the EMR software selection process and EMR implementation. However, it is more important to select a product that will be supported and upgraded, and will best meet your hospital’s or clinic’s needs.

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"In the New England Journal of Medicine this month, there’s a study involving 27,000 patients with diabetes in Cleveland. Out of every 100 patients in paper-based practices, how many do you think got the basic standard of care? Seven! Among those using electronic records, it was 51 percent. Doctors want better information about who needs care and what they need. You can’t get that from paper charts."

Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM
National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

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