Electronic Health Records and Meaningful Use
The implementation of an electronic health record (EHR) system has the potential to provide many benefits to both the practice and patients. It is important for the practice to focus its energy on achieving meaningful use, as this will ensure that it is meeting its health and efficiency related goals.
HealthIT.gov discusses meaningful use in great detail, noting objectives that are divided into five distinct categories. These include:
- Improve Quality, Safety, Efficiency
- Engage Patients & Families
- Improve Care Coordination
- Improve Public and Population Health
- Ensure Privacy and Security for Personal Health Information
As we have discussed in the past, EHR system training is of utmost importance. However, this is only the case if medical professionals are using the system in the appropriate manner, with the overall goal of reaching meaningful use.
If your practice is struggling in this area, here are several questions to answer:
- Have you noticed an improvement in the quality of care since implementing an EHR system?
- Have you been able to successfully use the technology to improve safety?
- What type of feedback have you received from patients?
- Do you find yourself slipping back into old habits, such as the desire to use a paper based system?
A lack of positive response could mean your practice has some more work to do before it can comfortably say it has achieved meaningful use.
There is a big difference between using electronic health records and doing so in an efficient and effective manner. Have you reached meaningful use?