How useful is Meaningful Use?


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) 2009 introduced the Health Information Technology for Economical and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act with the aim to incentivize “meaningful” implementation and usage of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) throughout the nation. Under HITECH, two incentive programs for Medicare and Medicaid were introduced which allow eligible professionals (EPs) to claim thousands of dollars in incentives over several years, provided that they are able to establish the requirements set out for different stages of Meaningful Use.money case

In essence, the rationale behind the requirements defined under the Meaningful Use criteria is to achieve maximum benefits of a wholly interoperable EHR system, so that a nationwide network of healthcare information is created. Such a network will not only ensure enhanced patient care but also result in patient engagement in the care delivery process which will considerably increase the quality of the national healthcare system and reduce overall costs.

Therefore, the benefits of Meaningful Use are far reaching with a long-term aim at changing the nature of the healthcare system. Effective implementation of Meaningful Use requirements will mean that providers have access to the information they need instantaneously, enabling them to swiftly diagnose problems and provide the best possible care.

As a result of its emphasis on interoperability, Meaningful Use ensures that information can be shared within a blink of an eye across healthcare providers, leading to better care coordination.

With patients being able to receive their clinical information electronically and securely over the internet, they will be in a position to be more proactive in their care management.

Naturally, immediate access to information on medications, allergies and treatment history will reduce the risk of medical errors to a large extent.

From a social perspective, all of these factors lead to healthier patient populations and communities. Electronic data capture and information sharing on diseases and outcomes means crucial information becomes available to other healthcare professionals not only in the US, but globally as well.

While these benefits are undeniable, final guidelines for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use issued by the Office of National Coordinator (ONC) and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have caused some frustration for doctors and physicians. Two major causes of concern for providers are clauses that require patient engagement and the apparent lack of control physicians are facing in meeting Stage 2 requirements.

According to Dr Zimmerman, an Ohio based physician, the requirements in Stage 2 for patient engagement are especially worrying for most physicians. 5% of patients will have to “view online, download and transmit” their medical record for the provider to meet the requirement. According to Dr Zimmerman and several other physicians, they cannot guarantee the 5% patient engagement requirement even if they are able to send them the electronic records within a stipulated time frame. They believe that it is close to impossible to ensure patient compliance from home, adding that this is something beyond their reasonable control.healthcare matter

Others have argued that they do not have a great deal of control in achieving Meaningful Use. They believe that only hospitals are benefiting from the incentives while physicians are being forced to add extra processes to their treatment which is eventually slowing down their workflow instead of facilitating it, thus lowering their compensation.

While these concerns might be legitimate in their own right, hospitals can, through consultation, work out these issues because physicians are the backbone of healthcare delivery. There seems to be no going back for providers since the social benefits of Meaningful Use significantly outweigh any professional concerns within the care continuum.

Achieving Meaningful Use

CureMD EMR v10 becomes Surescripts GOLD Solution Provider


Surescripts®, the Nation’s E-Prescription Network, today announced that CureMD EMR v10 has received Surescripts Gold Solution Provider Certification that recognizes technology vendors advancing electronic prescribing and interoperability by leveraging complete Surescripts capabilities and its network to improve the safety, efficiency and quality of the prescribing process.

CureMD is an award winning provider of web based Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Enterprise Practice Management (EPM), Patient Portal and Revenue Cycle Services. Through this program, CureMD has been tested to offer the most advanced e-prescribing capabilities in the industry – reducing prescriptions errors, enhancing prescription routing, online eligibility transactions, drug formulary while at the same time supporting community pharmacy and medication claim histories availability real time.

“CureMD EMR v10 achieving Surescripts Gold Solution Provider Status is a positive development; together with CCHIT®2011 Ambulatory certification and five star usability rating”, said CureMD CEO Kamal Hashmat. “Since our inception in 1997, we have ensured our clients be the first to comply with the evolving regulations, standards and best practices – providing the most innovative and easy to use solution that reinforces our promise of adaptable, accessible and affordable technology for every physician. Even today, CureMD customers are the earliest Meaningful users of EHR in the industry.”

Surescripts operates the nation’s largest e-prescription network and supports a rapidly expanding ecosystem of health care organizations nationwide. Surescripts was founded on the principles of neutrality, transparency, interoperability, efficiency, collaboration and quality. Surescripts connects prescribers in all 50 states through their choice of e-prescribing software to the nation’s leading payers, chain pharmacies and independent pharmacies. Available during emergencies or routine care, the Nation’s E-Prescription Network gives health care providers secure, low-cost, electronic access to prescription and health information that can save their patients’ lives, improve efficiency and reduce the cost of health care for all.

EHRs

CureMD wins 2011 eHealthcare Leadership Award


CureMD Healthcare, the award winning provider of SMART Cloud EMR, PM and Portal, has been selected as a winner for Business/Process Improvement Applications or Products awards” at The eHealthcare Leadership Awards 2011 in Orlando, FL.

At this year’s coveted 15th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference in Orlando, FL, more than 300 healthcare organizations attended the competition with more than 1,200 entries, judged by 114 healthcare and IT professionals. The eHealthcare Leadership Awards program exclusively recognizes the top Web applications / sites of online health companies, pharmaceutical/medical equipment firms, suppliers, and business improvement initiatives. CureMD was rated based on a standard of excellence and how it compared with others in its group classification.

CureMD is an award winning network of health information management systems and services offering certified EMR, practice management, patient portal, revenue cycle management and discrete reportable transcription to help accelerate adoption and Meaningful Use – driving outcomes and subsidy payments to maximize value and returns. CureMD’s advanced web technology and award winning usability facilitate quality decision making, streamline operations, and ensure compliance.

 

SURESCRIPTS ANNOUNCES THAT EIGHT SOFTWARE VENDORS HAVE ACHIEVED GOLD SOLUTION PROVIDER STATUS FOR E-PRESCRIBING


Software Gives Prescribers Electronic Access to Prescription Benefit, Prescription History and Prescription Routing

ALEXANDRIA, Va., and ST. PAUL, Minn. – May 27, 2010 – Surescripts®, the Nation’s E-Prescription Network, today announced that eight vendors representing nine physician software products have completed Gold certification. The resulting Gold Solution Provider status is granted to vendors with software products that have surpassed Surescripts’ baseline product certification to meet criteria that  demonstrate a higher level commitment to e-prescribing.

The following vendors have achieved Surescripts Gold Solution Provider status for their respective products:

Allscripts – Professional EHR Version 8.3 Update 1

CureMD – CureMD EHR Version 10

Doctations – Doctations Version 1

DrFirst – Rcopia Version 3.0

H2H – DigitalRx Version 2.1

NewCrop – NewCrop Core Version 10.1

OmniMD – OmniMD Version 8.2

RxNT – RxNT Version 6.1.4

RxNT – RxNT EMR Version 7.0

Gold Solution Provider status recognizes physician technology vendors that are advancing electronic prescribing and healthcare interoperability with customers in the United States. This certification is designed to recognize physician technology vendors’ products that leverage the complete resources and capabilities of Surescripts and its network to improve the safety, efficiency and quality of the prescribing process.

“For physicians making an investment in the safety of their patients, the efficiency of their practice and the quality of their own clinical decision making, Gold Solution Provider status helps them know which software vendors are meeting the highest standards for e-prescribing,” said Harry Totonis, president and CEO of Surescripts. “We congratulate Allscripts, CureMD, Doctations, DrFirst, H2H, NewCrop, OmniMD and RxNT on completing Gold level certification for their respective products in 2009.”

To utilize the Surescripts network, prescribers, pharmacies and PBMs must use software that has completed the Surescripts certification process.

This process ensures that the software is able to send and receive electronic messages in accordance with industry standards and that it provides open choice for medication selection and dispensing location. Additionally, certification focuses on patient safety, efficiency of the electronic prescribing process and ease of use by end users.

For more information about Surescripts certification, visit www.surescripts.com/certified.

One of the foundations of the growth of e-prescribing is the work that Surescripts has done over the past six years certifying the software applications of every major e-prescribing and electronic

EHRs