Stage 1 MU Measures in a Nutshell

With the introduction of modern technology and internet in our everyday lives, every business and service is moving towards digitization and inter-connectivity. The same is also applicable to the medical services where linking and sharing of data can help improve health care and other medical services while reducing the chances of mistreatment due to the lack of knowledge about the patient’s medical history and profile.

This advocates the creation, maintenance, and sharing of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) of the patients.

While the creation and sharing of EHRs is undoubtedly beneficial, the benefits of such arduous exercise depend upon its availability and use in a timely and efficient manner. In order to ensure the meaningful use of EHRs, a program has been designed to govern the creation, accessibility and use of EHRs database and technology. The benefits of this system include, recording of complete and accurate information, access to information by the competent authority and patient empowerment.

The stage 1 of meaningful use involves gathering of patient’s medical information in detail and creation of the EHRs. Several core and menu measures have been specified to be performed during Stage 1. The reporting period during this stage is 90 days. The eligible professionals and hospitals must be able to complete the requirements of 15 core measures and at least 5 menu measures for the specified period in order to complete the stage 1.

The core measures in the stage 1 include gathering of the following data:

1. Demographic profile and data of at least 50% patients.
2. Vital signs of 50% patients.
3. At least 30% patients should be treated through the “Computerized Provider Order Entry” (CPOE) system.
4. 40% of all prescriptions ordered should be “Electronically transmit prescriptions” or eRx.
5. Active medication list of 80% of patients should be maintained.
6. Active medication allergy list for 80% of patients must be maintained.
7. Smoking status for at least 50% patients be recorded.
8. Updated problem list for 80% be maintained at all times.
9. At least 50% of patients requesting a copy of health information be provided with an electronic copy of the information.
10. 50% of patients making office visits be provided clinical summaries.
11. Report on six clinical quality measures.
12. Undertake measures to protect electronic health information.

Some of the core measures that the providers must satisfy are:

13. Implementation of clinical decision support rule.
14. Test the exchange of clinical data with another entity authorized for the test.
15. Implement drug-drug and drug-allergy check.

The latest system of digitization of the patients’ health information and sharing it with the competent authorities is a system developed to fully exploit the EHRs technology to benefit the patients. It is a right step to use the technology for the betterment of mankind. The system of meaningful use of EHRs offers incentives and privileges to the medical service providers to ensure speedy and efficient functioning of the technology.

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