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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Aug 27 2012   8:12PM GMT

Final ruling on meaningful use stage 2

Posted by: RedaChouffani
Meaningful use, Stage 2

On August 23rd, 2012 Federal officials released the final stage 2 rule for meaningful use here.  This marks the finalized revisions of the ruling.  The 672-page document outlines the stage 2 requirements that will commence in 2014 for anyone participating in the incentive program.

The Health Information Technology Policy Council (HITPC) and the National Quality Strategy (NQS) maintained the focus on the six main domains:

  • Patient and family engagement
  • Patient safety
  • Care coordination
  • Population and public health
  • Efficient use of healthcare resources
  • Clinical processes/effectiveness

Within the ruling, there are 17 core measures for eligible professionals (EPs), who must also qualify for three of six menu objectives. Eligible hospitals are required to meet a set of only 16 core measures and a similar count of three additional ones from six menu items.

The final ruling also describes the requirements for reporting on clinical quality measures (CQMs).  As described, EPs will submit nine CQMs, from at least three of the NQS domains, out of a potential list of 64 CQMs across six domains.  There have been also some additional requirements that will force some changes to the way applications interact with health information exchanges (HIEs) and other EHR systems.

For example, one of the menu objectives allows for the ability to provide electronic lab results to ambulatory community providers.  This would facilitate, as well as encourage, some hospitals to eliminate faxing lab results to community-based practices. The new ruling changed patient access from providing patients with electronic copies of their health record upon request to providing them with online access to their chart for the purpose of viewing, downloading and transmitting.

Also, in an effort to help medication errors by requiring eligible hospitals/critical access hospitals to track medications using assistive technologies in conjunction with an electronic medication administration record (eMAR).

An additional measure was added to encourage patient and physician communications through electronic messaging.  It requires the use of secure communication with 10 percent or more of unique patients seen by EPs during the EHR reporting period.

There are still additional changes and requirements that will challenges EHR vendors and participants in the incentive program. As we continue to see the push for more collaboration, and care coordination, more measures in stage 3 are expected to follow the same direction as stage 2.

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