If you are looking to succeed at Meaningful Use Stage 2, you need to think beyond it. This means that you need to seek processes and technology that helps you exceed the current requirements. Aside from complying with the most modern healthcare regulations and best practices, you can plug into the more modern and connected healthcare delivery network – appreciated by your patients and peers.
Consider the following example:
- In Meaningful Use Stage 2, one core measure requires Eligible Professionals (EPs) to provide more than 50% of their patients the access to personal health information within four business days.
- Another such measure requires that more than 5% of your patients must view, download or transmit their health information to a third party.
The underlying problem with such measures is that it shifts the attention to the numbers – instead of ensuring that patients truly understand the value of accessing their health information online and make informed decisions. Quantifying goals can sometimes obscure the intent of the exercise, in this case asking patients to become more engaged in their own health management.
Physicians can insert simple links to an online portal for patients to register and log in to access their personal records. Patients often trust their doctors’, so telling them how a web portal can be a great resource for them to manage their health better may be a good idea.
The whole idea of looking beyond the minimum Meaningful Use measures applies to health information exchange as well. In Stage 2, you must provide an electronic summary-of-care record for more than 50% of your referrals and transitions of care. You must also conduct at least one successful electronic exchange of a summary-of-care record with a physician who uses a different EHR system than yours. This will eventually streamline the exchange of clinical information and make EHR systems more interoperable.
The goal is to help physicians communicate in the most efficient manner. Using the right EHR system enables you to transcend the limits, cost and lack of interoperability of using disparate EHR systems. Today, Stage 2 Certified EHRs should be able to do more than just demonstrate compliance.
A recent survey by Accenture found that 90% of patients in the US prefer online access to their health information. In the same survey, 76% of the patients expressed their interest in exchanging messages with their physicians online.
So here’s my suggestion. Forget about the specifics of individual measures and just look for a solution that is truly geared up to meet the future head on – one that connects better instead of mere of mere compliance with regulations.