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Electronic Health Records For Dummies by Anita Samarth, Trenor Williams

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Introducing Meaningful Use

You will hear a lot of talk in the health information technology world about Meaningful Use, so become familiar with the concept. Meaningful Use means just what it says — Meaningful Use of an EHR technology. In other words, you are using the EHR for the purpose it is intended for: clinical documentation, improved quality, and improved patient safety in a manner that is in accordance with local, state, and federal rules and regulations. Though such a definition seems fairly self-explanatory, people still have a lot of questions about the specifics of Meaningful Use and several organizations continue to discuss and debate the meaning. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) defines Meaningful Use as the use of health information technology to further information exchange among healthcare professionals and to further ARRA goals with three main components:

Use of certified EHR in a meaningful manner

Use of certified EHR technology for electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of care

Use of certified ERH technology to submit Clinical Quality Measures (CQM) and other such measures selected by the Secretary of HHS

The EHR incentive rule proposes Meaningful Use criteria based on a series of specific objectives, with each objective tied to a proposed measure that all eligible professionals must meet to demonstrate that they are meaningful users of certified EHR technology.

The objectives are divided into a set of 15 “core” and 10 “menu” ...

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