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 Meaningful Use

The term “Meaningful Use” specifically refers to the meaningful use of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology to achieve certain healthcare quality, safety, and efficiency goals.  These health outcomes policy priorities (the national goals of the HITECH Act) derive from the National Quality Forum’s National Priorities Partnership framework and include:

  • Improving quality, safety, efficiency, and reducing health disparities
  • Engaging families and patients in their healthcare
  • Improving care coordination
  • Improving population and public health
  • Ensuring adequate privacy and security protections for personal health information

These goals were further developed (and will continue to be developed in subsequent stages) into specific objectives that are to be met by providers in their daily use of electronic health records.

The Recovery Act stipulates that the definition of “meaningful use” include, at minimum, these three components:

  • The use of a certified EHR in a meaningful manner (for example, e-prescribing)
  • The use of certified EHR technology for electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of healthcare
  • The use of certified EHR technology to submit clinical quality and other measures

The Meaningful Use Final Rule itself contains a list of specific objectives and quality measures that must be demonstrated or “attested to” for a provider to be deemed a meaningful user of EHR technology. When those objectives of EHR use are being actively put into practice by a provider, that provider can attest this to CMS and become eligible for incentive payments under either Medicare or Medicaid.

 Meaningful Use Resources

 Meaningful Use Tools