Thursday, February 25, 2010

Meaningful Use Stages

The NPRM has proposed a graduated, stage approach to meaningful use. The criteria required to prove meaningful use will be updated gradually through future rulemaking. The initial set of meaningful use criteria is referred to as “Stage 1”. It is anticipated that Stage 2 criteria will be implemented in 2013 and Stage 3 criteria will be implemented in 2015. CMS believes that the Stage 3 meaningful use criteria will represent their “overreaching goals” and are “attainable by the end of the EHR incentive programs”.

Stage 1 meaningful use criteria focus on:
• electronically capturing health information in a coded format
• using that information to track key clinical conditions and communicating that information for care coordination purposes (whether that information is structured or unstructured, but in structured format whenever feasible)
• being consistent with other provisions of Medicare and Medicaid law
• implementing clinical decision support tools to facilitate disease and medication management
• reporting clinical quality measures and public health information

**Stage 1 objectives have already been established by CMS and can be viewed in the “EHR Objectives and Measures” table below

Stage 2 meaningful use criteria will focus on:
• expand upon the Stage 1 criteria
• encourage the use of health IT for continuous quality improvement at the point of care
• the exchange of information in the most structured format possible, such as the electronic transmission of orders entered using computerized provider order entry (CPOE) and the electronic transmission of diagnostic test results

Stage 3 meaningful use criteria will focus on:
• promoting improvements in quality, safety and efficiency
• decision support for national high priority conditions
• patient access to self management tools
• access to comprehensive patient data
• improving population health

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