Patient Engagement is an Important Focus of MU Stage 2

Patient EngagementWhat are you doing about Patient Engagement?

In a medical practice these days categorizing your patients is common. You have active patients that come to see you regularly and consider you their doctor. You have inactive patients that you haven’t seen in a specific amount of time. You have new patients those who have come to you for the first time, they might stay new for that year. You have deceased patients that you hold their records for the legal amount of time. If you are a specialist you might even categorize by referrals. Some primary care providers even categorize by age and have corresponding EHR templates that focus on age appropriate fields. Patients can also fit into more than one category. In this time of EHRs and Meaningful Use your newest patient category will be “engaged”. So what about patient engagement and how will you get your active patients to be engaged?

Stage 2 of the CMS EHR Incentive Programs will begin in 2014 for those Eligible Professionals (EPs) who have completed two stage 1 reporting periods. Stage 2 includes new objectives to improve patient care through better clinical decision support, care coordination, and patient engagement. For patient engagement requirements the patient action will be more than 5% of a practice’s patients sending secure messages to the provider and more than 5% of the patients accessing their health information online.

Core objective #7 requires the EP to provide patients the ability to view online, download and transmit their health information within four business days of the information being available to the EP. This will be measured in two ways. The provider must make the information available to 50% of all the unique patients seen while in turn, more than 5% of all unique patients seen must view, download, or transmit their health information. Core objective #17 requires the use of secure electronic messaging to communicate with patients on relevant health information. This will be measured by more than 5% of unique patients sending secure messages using the messaging function of your Certified EHR.

This week we will focus on patient engagement. How are practices engaging their patients? How are patients learning about how and why they should be engaging in their health care? We start with our achieves on All week hear some of the industries leading experts on patient engagement and patient advocacy. Hear Regina Holliday on MU Live!, hear about the Louisiana Health IT initiative, “Own Your Own Health on Engage4Health, and Matthew Hager from the National eHealth Collaborative on Learning Lunch. And while you are listening you will hear some of the latest Public Service Announcement from HHS on patient engagement. See all of this weeks radio highlights on patient engagement. And stay tuned for more on patient engagement all this week. Check out the sidebar widget to see what’s playing right now and Rediscover Radio.