The release of CMS’ Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on December 30, 2009 defined meaningful use and proposed the objectives and measures eligible providers will have to meet in Stage 1 to qualify for the HITECH incentives. Right now, Stage 1 objectives and measures are set to begin in 2011. And while the Final Ruling has yet to be issued (anticipated to be at the end of June or first part of July), ONC’s David Blumenthal has gone on record saying to expect little change from the current NPRM.
The 25 objectives for eligible providers for Stage 1 outlined in NPRM answer 5 priority health outcomes:
- Improving quality, safety, efficiency and reducing health disparities. (16 objectives)
- Engage patients and families in their healthcare. (3 objectives)
- Improve care coordination (3 objectives)
- Improving population and public health. (2 objectives)
- Ensure adequate privacy and security protections for personal health information. (1 objective)
Though all await release of the Final Rules, it’s not too early for any provider to start evaluating how various EHR systems compare against these 25 objectives. Start by downloading this EHR Tool: ARRA Meaningful Use Requirements. You can use this tool to compare up to 5 EHR products in each of the 25 objectives. Then make sure you talk to our partners at Medical Software Advice for a free evaluation of EHR systems. They’re on hand to help you understand what system makes the most sense for your practice.