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Build an Efficient and Safe Electronic Medical Records System with Meaningful Use Stage 2

Meaningful Use is a two-part program which was released in 2009 as a way to help more healthcare providers adopt the use of electronic health records systems safely and efficiently into their practices and businesses. This program provides different medical providers the option of sharing and accessing important information in an instant. It was designed around the emphasis of patient safety and maximization of the provider’s quality of care for the patient.

The program is divided into two stages: Meaningful Use Stage 1 and Meaningful Use Stage 2. When used together, the systems will bring greater benefits to patients by allowing them to receive a higher quality of care. Once the providers can prove that they are using the systems meaningfully and responsibly (during Stage 1), they will be given a payment incentive (during Stage 2).

Meaningful Use Stage 1

Introduced in 2011, the first stage of Meaningful Use was designed to focus on capturing data and sharing it securely through the system of electronic health records.  Meanwhile, the healthcare providers at the practice are expected to work toward attaining a list of specific objectives. In order to move on to Stage 2, they are required to succeed at attaining a certain number of the given objectives. Once they have succeeded, they will be able to move on to the second stage where they will have the ability to receive their Stage 1 incentive payments.

Meaningful Use Stage 2

The second stage of Meaningful Use was introduced in 2014. Meaningful Use Stage 2 is very complex as compared with Meaningful Use Stage 1. While the first stage is almost a sort of quiz to see whether the providers will be able to meet standard objectives, the second stage looks to see how far they are really able to push themselves. Healthcare providers are expected to meet an even higher number of objectives during this stage, and only after they have met these objectives will their incentive payments be granted.

This second stage really checks how secure and meaningful the providers are willing to treat their patients’ information and records. These tests rely on the exchange of health information and the transfer of patient care reports through the system. There are exactly seventeen requirements that healthcare providers must be able to meet as a part of Stage 2, including:

1. Using computerized order entries

2. Record demographic information as well as any changes in vital signs or smoking status when generating prescriptions

3. Give patients secure access to their personal health information and provide each with a post-visit summary

4. Protect all electronic health information

5. Improve the practice’s performance for important health conditions

6. Generate a list of patients based on their condition and incorporate lab test results

7. Submit all patient data to the proper immunization registries

8. Provide patients with follow-up care and be able to communicate with them using the electronic messaging system

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