Meeting Meaningful Use 101

At the advent of medicine, illness was attributed to witchcraft, demons, the stars, the planets, or the will of the gods. These days, we are soon to find ourselves, as physicians, under the will of the EHR. It is clear that the Electronic Health Record (EHR) is a revolutionary tool that will, and already has, transformed medicine into a more efficient, safer, and streamlined technology that far surpasses our witchcraft days. The EHR will inevitably improve caregivers’ decisions and the outcomes of patient care.

Last year Congress and the Obama administration passed The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). This act authorized the use of financial incentives to health care providers who use certified EHR’s. A provider can benefit from $44,000 through Medicare, and $63,750 through Medicaid if they demonstrate that they meaningfully use their certified EHR. These funds will be supplied by the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. Additionally, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) is currently accepting and reviewing applications from organizations who are interested in conducting the certification process for EHR’s.

The information below is specific to eligible professionals, not eligible hospitals or critical access hospitals. As with any big change in life, this will be a transition, and likely a slow one. There will be at least 3 stages, and Stage 1 has been outlined clearly.

There exist 15 criteria in the “Core Set” which are essential, and that must be present in an EHR to meet meaningful use criteria. Furthermore, there is a “Menu Set” of 10 criteria, of which a clinician must meet at least 5 of these to garner the illustrious title of a “certified EHR” user. These sets and the specific criteria will be reviewed in my next blog. issued a press release earlier this month guaranteeing that all meaningful use criteria will be met.

It is the purpose of University to keep you up to date with the latest information revolving around Meaningful Use so that all clinicians who utilize’s iPad EHR will smoothly transition to a better, brighter, and patient-centered EHR system that will notably enhance the lives of practitioners and patients alike. Stay tuned for weekly to biweekly updates.