Meaningful Use & EMR

The HITECH Act is designed to allow for the effective utilization of electronic medical records (EMR), also known as electronic health records (EHR) or personal health records (PHR), to achieve efficiency in healthcare. The Act’s incentives and programs are designed to improve the standard of health in the United States through increased health care system performance. The Act specifies a number of goals:

  • To offer higher quality, safer and more efficient health care while also lowering the number of disparities
  • To offer better direct communication to patients, and their family, when care is received
  • To offer information and incentive to promote better health
  • To offer a method of coordination between care providers when information and data need to be shared
  • To offer a system of control for privacy to be honored

With any such program comes the need for adoption of such policies. Incentives have been made available when meaningful use can be demonstrated. This involves meeting a set of pre-defined objectives. By promoting improvement of the EMR system, everyone comes out a winner.

Technology makes all of this possible. The objectives set forth are intended to promote the potential that can exist to improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of such undertakings.

Stage One meaningful use criteria for financial incentives are as follows:

  • Meet 15 objectives; 14 for hospitals
  • Meet 5 electives, from a list of 10. The one relevant for labs is to incorporate clinical lab test results as structured data
  • Meet 6 total quality measures; several relevant for labs such as (Cervical cancer screening, Diabetes urine screening, etc.)

Read more on EMR Certification or our full-service clinical lab IT consultancy.