Archive for the ‘Meaningful Use’ Category

Infographic: HIT Meaningful Use

April 5th, 2013 by Melanie Matthews

More than 40 percent of all primary care physicians are using regional extension centers to achieve meaningful use of healthcare IT, according to an infographic released by

Other data points highlighted in the infographic include the physician reported benefits of health IT, EHR adoption and the number of physicians who have or will apply for meaningful use incentives.

Health Information Technology --- America's Healthcare Providers are Using Health IT and EHRs

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You may also be interested in this related resource: Electronic Health Record: Standards, Coding Systems, Frameworks, and Infrastructures.

Using Registries to Improve Population Health

March 5th, 2013 by Jessica Fornarotto

Patient registries help to provide a bigger picture view of a specific patient population, making it easier to identify patients at high-risk and those who need certain tests, states Dr. Gregory Spencer, chief medical officer of Crystal Run Healthcare. Crystal Run’s use of registries has helped patients to maintain their health, including those with poorly controled diabetes, and to identify gaps in care. However, meaningful use does pose some challenges for Crystal Run registries.

Question: What results have you achieved from your registry data?

Response: Early on, we used registries for routine health maintenance issues, specifically for women that were due for a mammogram. We went from about 60 or 65 percent of women getting mammograms early on to the high 80 percent range. Similarly, prostate specific antigens increased to above 90 percent. Registries do work when there is a concerted effort of everybody thinking about these groups of patients, reporting on it on a regular basis and then sharing results with people.

Through our dashboard, we can show people where they stand. We are incorporating more of these registry data into dashboards. People that are due for prostate specific antigens, for instance, are incorporated onto the dashboard. The other more dramatic use has been a list of patients who have diabetes with an A1C greater than 9; very poorly controlled. We use that registry for our quarterly calls. We have a primary care physician who is on a conference call once a quarter with a dietician and an endocrinologist, and we go over the registry of patients who have poorly controlled diabetes. We talk about the patient, look at them in detail and have the dietician reach out to them. We could also have the patient schedule an appointment or have them make a change to their behavior to help them better manage their diabetes. We have had a dramatic improvement in the A1C’s, where currently, poorly controlled is below 9 percent at this point.

Question: Besides mammograms and diabetes, what other measures do you use to identify gaps in care?

Response: We use most of the common quality measures such as mammograms, prostate specific antigens, colonoscopies, and most of the shots specifically for adults such as Pneumovax®, tetanus and flu shot. For kids, we have all the childhood immunizations. We have a program that tracks immunizations as well as high-risk patients with diabetes with A1C’s greater than 9.

And we have good registries. For patients with well-controlled diabetes or hypertension, there are positive and negative lists. If you are going to gather the information, you know where the blood pressure field is kept. You know that there are good quality measures and bad quality measures, and you can leverage that. Then, you have two items to look at rather than just one. We are developing a library of these, and we are going from meaningful use that has many measures in registries that are required and we are working toward that as well.

Question: What lessons have you learned in terms of meaningful use?

Response: We try to keep the measures and the list standard to the quality measures that already exist. We do many of the NCQA clinical quality measures already. The difficult areas that we have are the same that many other companies have. We are having a difficult time getting an extensive clinical summary out to a patient within three days of a visit. Then, there is e-prescribing rates. Depending on the patient population that is served, patients insist on a printed prescription. We told the staff that if they want it printed, they get it sent electronically as well. You need the threshold there.

Infographic: Meaningful Use Incentives

February 21st, 2013 by Melanie Matthews

Financial incentives for healthcare providers offered by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) are still well within reach. Demonstrating meaningful use is the key to receiving the incentive payments while achieving quality, efficiency and patient safety in the healthcare system through the use of certified EHR technology.

An infographic by Greenway Medical illustrates the total dollar value of meaningful use incentives as of July 2012, along with strategies for meeting meaningful use requirements.

international care coordination

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You may also be interested in this related resource: Keys to EMR/EHR Success, Second Edition.

Infographic: The Top 20 Most Popular EMRs

October 12th, 2012 by Melanie Matthews

eClinicalWorks, McKesson and Cerner are the most popular EMRs, according to a rating index by Capterra.

Elements of the index are highlighted in an infographic by Capterra that also looks at the pricing, platform, number of users and targeted audience of the leading EMRs. The infographic also ranks the most requested features of EMRs.

Top 20 Most Popular EMRs

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Infographic: Health Information Exchange Scorecard

October 4th, 2012 by Melanie Matthews

Growth in health information exchanges (HIEs) has increased with funding from The HITECH Act, aimed at helping healthcare providers meet meaningful use regulations. As of 2012, eHealth Initiative (eHI) has identified over 230 HIEs spanning from multi-state, single state, counties, cities and even single health systems.

A new eHI infographic looks at HIE challenges, states with the highest number of HIEs and components of successful HIEs.
Health Information Scorecard

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Infographic: Meeting Stage 2 Meaningful Use Core Requirements

September 25th, 2012 by Melanie Matthews

The key differences between Stage 1 and Stage 2 Meaningful Use core objective requirements are highlighted in this new infographic by HealthPOINT, a federally designated health information technology resource and support center for South Dakota healthcare providers.

Meaningful Use: A Comparison Between Stage 1 and Stage 2

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11 Ways to Engage Consumers in Patient Portals

September 5th, 2012 by Patricia Donovan
patient portal

Patient portals increase engagement, support stage 2 meaningful use.

Patient portals are an ideal way to boost patient engagement, a metric getting lots of attention in stage 2 of the federal government’s incentive plan for meaningful use of EHRs. Stage 2, which will begin as early as 2014, increases health information exchange between providers and promotes patient engagement by giving patients secure online access to their health information.

Under the final rule issued last month, organizations vying for meaningful use incentives will not only have to demonstrate the availability of patient portals, but also the percentage of patients accessing health information via these channels.

There are plenty of portals already out there, but how can healthcare companies convince patients and health plan members to use the portal? Problems with portal awareness, functionality and health literacy can sink a portal project before it gets off the ground. In a Physicians Practice podcast, pediatrician Peter M. Kilbridge, a senior research director with The Advisory Board Company, suggests 11 ways to not only engage patients in portal use but also increase the likelihood they’ll return to the tool continually to manage their health:

  1. Make sure patients are aware of the portal. Staff should inform patients about the portal, and brochures and sign-in credentials should be readily available, recommends Dr. Kilbridge.
  2. Highlight functions patients care about, such as the ability to send secure messages or questions and schedule referrals.
  3. If patients aren’t scheduled to come in to the office for an appointment, send them an e-mail or snail mail announcement about the portal.
  4. When building a portal, it’s important that patients get there on the first try. Keep the instructions and path to the portal simple.
  5. Define the physician’s role in this process — the most important role, Dr. Kilbridge emphasizes. “Physicians have a greater ability than anyone else to influence. You must educate the physicians in proper portal use.” Even among physicians, the digital divide is great, he adds. “Show the physicians how the portal will help them — by reducing phone calls, by motivating patients to follow up on test results.” All of these benefits can improve overall clinical indicators for a practice.
  6. Encourage the healthy to use the portal. “Healthy patients will use the portal when it simplifies routine tasks, like making appointments.”
  7. Add health and wellness information, such as links to community activities such as walks or runs, that providers can point to during visits.
  8. For patients with chronic illness, offer logs for them to enter regular data, such as weight o A1C levels, and activate red flags when they reach warning levels.
  9. Pay attention to health literacy levels, making sure the information and tools available from the portal are easy to understand.
  10. Coordinate the portal with other means of patient access, such as a call center or nurse advice line. These groups can also refer patients to the portal for more information.
  11. Coordinate the portal with other communication modalities. “Some portals can be built to interact with texting,” notes Dr. Kilbridge, who estimates that about 85 percent of individuals are comfortable using texting.

What about the elderly? Will they use the portal? “There are always populations that won’t use it — minorities, elders, the less educated.”

But judging from the numbers of grandparents proudly sharing their grandchildren’s photos on social networks like Facebook, expecting them to tackle a patient portal may not be such a stretch.