Meaningful use refers to the use of certified Electronic Health Record technology by an eligible provider (EP) of health services. The story begins with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which is intended to promote the use of health information technology.
The HITECH act defines a set of certification standards that EHR software producers must meet and it provides incentive funding for help eligible providers to incorporate use of certified EHR technology into their practices.
For ambulatory care, the ONC Certification standard identifies 33 specific requirements. It is not necessary for an eligible provider to use a single software product that is fully certified. The standard can be met by meaningfully employing multiple software systems, as long as the combination of those systems meets all 33 requirements defined in the standard.
In August of 2011, SMART achieved certification for 16 of the requirements. Learn more about our certification details. SMART’s goal is to become fully certified during 2012. The four requirements we are deferring can be met temporarily by using a SAAS (software as a service) e-Prescribing solution:
- Use computerized order entry for medication orders.
- Implement drug-drug, drug-allergy checks.
- Generate and transmit permissible prescriptions electronically.
- Implement drug-formulary checks.
Having certified technology in place is important, but it is only the first step in qualifying for incentives. Meaningful use requires measurable, proportionate use of certified EHR technology in practice. The full set of qualifications for funding are spelled out by the HITECH Act. An overview is available here, at the official Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website.
¹ Section 170.302(f) is represented in the certificate as a single item but is listed as 3 distinct requirements in the NIST Approved Test Procedures.