Meaningful Use

Meaningful Use

As the frenzy begins and practices scurry to qualify for ARRA funding (for which I will NOT qualify), I hear lots of banter about “meaningful use (MU).” What is this all about? If you follow the federal money trail, you will find that the government wants to make sure that not only have physicians purchased an EHR, but they are “using them in a meaningful way.” Say what???

The government, being who they are, came up with some standards that practices will have to comply with if they want government funding. There are 3 basic categories to MU:
  1. Use of certified EHR technology in a meaningful manner. This includes things like e-prescribing (reduces errors, reduces health care costs as formulary and generic information assists decision making)
  2. Use of certified EHR technology for electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of care. Can I hear a loud shout out for real-time, bi-directional interchange of information with a state immunization information system??
  3. Use of certified EHR technology to submit clinical quality measures. Yes, there are indeed some pediatric-pertinent measures such as the percentage of your active patient population who has received all the ACIP-recommended vaccines by age 2 years.
So while ARRA funding has hijacked some focus and resources for many of us, it isn’t all bad. If we can get better functional exchange of immunization data with state registries, that’s awesome! If we can use clinical data to deliver better care, that’s great for everyone!
Office Practicum has always been devoted to pediatric functionality, and will continue to push the envelope in a way that is meaningful to all practicing pediatricians, regardless of whether or not they qualify for ARRA funding. In addition, as Connexin Software is preparing for ARRA certification, it is committed to add functionality in a manner that makes this information useful to clinical practice.
More to come on how Office Practicum users should look at their work flow and documentation to make sure they are indeed using OP “meaningfully!”