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As we speak, the US government is providing the needed support to the different clinics, hospitals and doctors adopting the Electronic Health Records (EHRs). In the course of the different stages of this program, the American government is distributing incentive payments to the various healthcare providers to spur the implementation process. This program is what is referred to as Meaningful Use. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the implications of the Meaningful Use in the American health sector and make substantial recommendations.
Meaningful Use is basically a set of standards that have been developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) (Chin and Sakuda, 2012). Its main focus is to award the healthcare providers for achieving certain criteria through use of the certified electronic health records (EHRs) to achieve improved patient care. For the different health care providers to avoid penalties and to adequately achieve Meaningful Use, the health providers have to strictly adhere to a defined set of criteria that serve as a blue print to effective use of EHR in the health sector. In this regard, the main goal of EHRs implementation is to reduce health care related disparities, engage the patients with their families and further improve on communication between the different health care practitioners for better and enhanced coordination of care (Chin and Sakuda, 2012).
Meaningful Use was planned to be implemented witin the American health sector in three major phases within a period of five years. The first phase of the program was completed in the year 2012 and largely focused on data collection and transformation of the collected data in consistent formats, analysis of the health trends and use of the health information in engaging the patients and their families (Thurston, 2014). The second stage of the program ended in the year 2014 and largely emphasized on advanced sharing between the different health care providers:
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