Meaningful use of EHR and its criteria

To better understand what is the meaningful use of EHR and its criteria we’ve got to know what meaningful use is exactly, and what is EHR also! In this blog post, we will discuss what is meant by meaningful use of EHRs along with the stages of meaningful use EHR. So, read on.

First things first, in order to obtain incentive payments, a medical institution must demonstrate meaningful use. As a result, the goal is to demonstrate to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services EHR incentive programs that you are eligible. So, meaningful usage of an electronic health record (EHR) fixes the goals that hospitals and health care providers must achieve. This is necessary in order to participate in the EHR Incentive Programs.

 What is meaningful use?

What is meaningful use of EHR and its criteria? But first, what are the stages of meaningful use? Mainly, the meaningful use objectives will evolve in three stages. In fact, CMS and ONC created these to measure meaningful use. These set the meaningful use of EHR and its criteria.

 Stage 1:

Naturally, it focuses on and promotes the implementation of certified EHR technologies. Initially, this stage set the requirements for the digital capture of data. As well, it gave patients access to electronic forms of their proper health data.

 Stage 2:

Obviously, it encourages the meaningful use of CEHRT. You can say it is an expansion of the stage 1 criteria. Stage 2 emphasized the exchange of patient data and care coordination. Plus, it boosts the limits of criteria compliance. Besides, it introduces more clinical decision support, patient engagement rules, and care coordination requirements.

 Stage 3:

Ideally, this stage focuses on improving health outcomes through:

  •     Clinical data registry and reporting cases
  •     Exchange of health information
  •     Coordination of care due to patient engagement
  •     Patient-provider access
  •     Computerized provider order entry
  •     Clinical decision support
  •     E-prescriptions
  •     Implementation of protected health data

Electronic Health Record (EHR)

 Before we answer: what is the meaningful use of EHR and its criteria? Let’s dive into what’s the importance of electronic health records.

 To begin with, an electronic health record is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart. They are real-time, patient-centered records that make information available instantly and securely to authorized users. EHRs can improve:

  •       Quality and convenience of patient care
  •       Patient participation in their care
  •       Accuracy of diagnoses and health outcomes
  •       Practice efficiencies and cost savings

 What is the meaningful use of EHR and its criteria?

 First and foremost, the “Meaningful Use Criteria” relate to particular aspects of an EHR system that providers will be expected to use in their practice if they are to qualify for the HITECH Act’s incentives.

 Eligible Professionals, Eligible Hospitals, and Critical Access Hospitals may be eligible for Medicare or State Medicaid incentive payments for meaningful use of certified EHR technology.


 Mainly, the first draft of the meaningful use criteria was published in June 2009 by the Meaningful Use Workgroup of the Health Information Technology Policy Committee, the advisory council was formed to draft regulations and procedures to execute the HITECH Act In January 2010, an Interim Final Draft regulation was issued.

 Health Outcomes, Policy Priorities, and Care Goals drive the Meaningful Use Criteria.

 Health outcomes priorities for Meaningful Use include:

  •     Enhance the quality, safety, efficiency of health care
  •     Engage patients and families.
  •     Increase care coordination.
  •     Enhance public health.
  •     Ensure that PHI is adequately protected in terms of privacy and security.

 The Meaningful Use Criteria include the following care goals:

  •     Provide the patient’s health care team with access to full patient health data.
  •     Make use of evidence-based order sets as well as computerized physician order input.
  •     compile lists of patients in need of care and use them to contact patients, e.g., with reminders, care instructions, and so on.
  •     Report to patient registries for quality improvement, public reporting, etc.
  •     Provide patients and families timely access to data, information, and tools that will allow them to make informed decisions and manage their health.
  •     Share valuable clinical information among members of the professional health care team. Communicate with public health agencies.
  •     Provide transparency of data sharing to the patient.
  •     Ensure privacy and security protections for confidential information through operating policies, and technologies and compliance with applicable law.

 Finally, meeting the standards outlined in the meaningful use criteria is vital for providers, but it is just a partial goal. Whereas, meeting the requirements of your own internal operations will be just as crucial in your deployment of EHR technology.

 For more information on meaningful use criteria and all other issues related to EHR systems, contact the Ambula team at (818) 308-4108. Now discover how many EHR systems are there?

Published On: April 1st, 2022Categories: Healthcare EMR Software

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