Wednesday, April 29, 2009

HIMSS' Proposed Definition of EHR Meaningful Use

This morning HIMSS published its definitions of meaningful use of certified EHR technologies. Some excepts from the document:

The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) calls for up to five years of Medicare incentive payments to physicians who meet the requirements of meaningful users of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology. To be eligible for the payments, physicians must use the technology in a meaningful manner, which includes e-prescribing; exchanging electronic health information to improve the quality of care; having the capacity to provide clinical decision support (CDS) to support practitioner order entry and, submitting clinical quality measures – and other measures – as selected by the Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS). Further, physicians must meet the definition within a specified time frame, which as described in ARRA, must be made increasingly stringent over time by the Secretary.

HIMSS’ Definition of Meaningful Users of EHR Technologies
HIMSS recognizes that defining a meaningful user is a complex endeavor. In order for the nation to benefit from the spirit and intent of ARRA, and for physicians to have a reasonable chance of achieving the definition, HIMSS asserts that the requirements must be introduced – and made increasingly stringent – in incremental stages. In the final stage, which must commence in FY15, HIMSS believes the mature definition of “meaningful user of certified EHR technology” includes at least four attributes:
1. Utilization of an EHR certified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT);
2. Demonstrated ability to electronically exchange standardized patient summary data with clinical and administrative stakeholders;
3. Demonstrated practice of electronic prescribing; and,
4. Demonstrated reporting of quality and patient safety data.

In addition HIMMS made the following recommendations to HHS
Recommendation #1 Adopt CCHIT as the certifying body for EHRs
Recommendation #2 To achieve the incremental maturation, milestones be achieved in phases of not less than two years each, commencing in 2011.
Recommendation #3 HHS coordinate with Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE)to create new harmonized dtandards and implementation guides
Recommendation #4 Reconcile the gap between “Certified EHR Technologies”, “Open Source”, and “Best of Breed” models

For the full text of the definitions and proposed timelines click on link:
HIMSS' Meaningful Use of EHR

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