Meaningful Use concept Instructor Date Healthcare reform is no doubt becoming a reality very soon considering that it is the biggest priority of not only the current government but also diverse players in the healthcare sector. The introduction of automated patient record is one of the major components and priority agenda of the foresighted healthcare reforms considering its varied benefits to healthcare delivery and players in the industry (Flanders, 2010)…
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Meaningful use refers to the application of certified EHR technology in attaining specific healthcare objectives. Meaningful use is centered along the roles of healthcares professions and hospitals with respect to the adoption and implementation of EHR technology in their respective practice (CDC, 2013). This claim can be justified by the guidelines of the EHR incentive program, which requires medical professionals and hospitals to demonstrate that their chosen certified EHR has met specific health outcomes priorities. The concept of meaningful use is based on a number of vital health outcome priorities which include but not limited to improved population and public health; enhanced privacy and security of patient medical information; superior quality, efficiency, safety and minimized health disparities; enhanced care coordination; and increased engagement of patients and their families in the care (“Policymaking, Regulation”, 2012). This means that eligible medical professions and hospitals must ensure that their certified EHR meets the above results before they get CMS inventive payment. The healthcare outcomes will be used as the criteria for establishing effective use of the deployed health IT tools by healthcare providers. According to the CMS incentive program eligible medical professionals, hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) will receive up to $44,000 over 5 years and up to $63,750 over 6 years through the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive program respectively (CDC, 2013). It is noteworthy that CMS inventive program is voluntary, but negative consequences especially financial ones have been put in place for medical providers who fail to join the program by 2015. The concept of Meaningful Use was first introduced during the Obama administration though enactment and final signing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 into law (Flanders, 2010). The ARRA through a number of measures particularly the "Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act" has witnessed improved national healthcare IT infrastructure. The HITECH proposed the concept of meaningful use of the EHR through the country’s healthcare delivery system as a vital national goals and it remains to be the critical focus for legislative, financial and ethical concern for hospitals and professional in the healthcare sector (“Policymaking, Regulation”, 2012). The initiative for automating medical records is facilitated by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) in conjunction with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) after the current administration realized that IT infrastructure is impetus for addressing longstanding healthcare challenges which range from escalating healthcare costs, low quality and safety, as well as high wastage (CDC, 2013). Meaningful Use has been divided into phases in order to encourage gradual widespread EHR adoption and implementation universally besides relieving excessive burden on medical care providers. The first phase which covers 2011 involves aspects of data capture and sharing; the second face, which involves advanced clinical processes elements covers up to 2013 while the final phase involves
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