In December 2011, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that in an effort to make the adoption of health IT easier for providers, the Meaningful Use Stage 2 deadline would be extended to 2014 for those who successfully participated in 2011. Organizations whose eligible providers will seek to meet the requirements for Meaningful Use Stage 2 should use this extension to their advantage and carefully consider how the right technology and right partner can simplify the attestation process and ensure their continued success in an era of rapid transformation in healthcare.
Technology adoption will play a critical role in positioning organizations to successfully complete the attestation process for Meaningful Use Stage 2. Selecting an Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Practice Management solution that is compliant with and certified as an ONC Complete EHR for Meaningful Use ensures that your organization can utilize the software to successfully meet the required measures, as the software has been designed with those measures in mind. HIPAA compliance will continue to be of paramount importance, so organizations should choose a product and solution partner that helps users maintain the security of patient information and other private data. Organizations should also anticipate incorporating the use of new technologies into their workflows, such as clinical decision support, patient portals and health information exchange (HIE).
The right solution will also feature seamless interfacing capabilities, including HIE, immunization and lab interfaces that can be easily read, sent to the patient’s chart, messaged to the patient portal and uploaded to the patient registry in a swift, usable fashion. These features will also be helpful to organizations as they seek to adopt and implement more advanced care delivery models, like the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) and Patient-Centered Medical Home.
As providers increase and expand the use of technology in their practices, convenient and portable solutions designed for devices like iPads and smartphones will provide immediate access to data while maintaining HIPAA compliance, and will help providers to increase their speed, improve their productivity and provide better-quality care for the patients they serve. By keeping an eye to making patient information secure and available whenever it is needed, wherever it is needed, providers will place themselves in a position of market competitiveness for success.