Many eligible professionals have decided that Meaningful Use isn't something they plan to report and attest to in their practice. While the pros and cons of incentives and penalties affect every practice differently, the point of The Meaningful Use Program is to improve patient care across specialties, all while saving practices time and money.
Participating in Meaningful Use isn't an easy thing to accomplish and there are a lot of requirements that go along with attesting. So, we understand why some practices have opted out of participating in the program. Participants are required to complete a series of objectives that would ultimately have a lot of affects on a practice's workflow. Even if you decided against Meaningful Use there are a lot of objectives on the list that we think all eyecare practices should consider implementing in their pracitce. The best part is that since you aren't participating in the program, you can slowly but surely start implementing these habits into your practice at your own pace.
If you're using an EHR software that's been certified for Meaningful Use, the functionality to perform these objectives will be built into the system. So if you've spent the money on a new system, make sure you're making the most of it!
6 Meaningful Use Objectives Every EyeCare Practice Should Get in the Habit of (even if you're not participating in The Meaningful Use Program)!
Generate and Transmit Prescriptions Electronically
Or, in other words, ePrescribing. Getting in the habit of ePrescribing in your practice is going to save you the hassles of calling or faxing in prescriptions to local pharmacies. Having an online ePrescribing tool will allow you to access a patient's medical history to see all past and present patient medication making it easier to decide on their next prescription. You'll also have access to patient-specific education about medications, and get instant notifications that provide warnings to drug recalls and renewal requests from pharmacies.
Use Clinical Decision Support to Improve Performance
Having a system that offers clinical decision support (CDS) is a great back up for offering reassurance of a diagnosis. CDS helps reduce the risk of medication errors and misdiagnosis. The more misdiagnosis that you can avoid is going to save you and your patients money from having to run additional tests or schedule additional appointments to get to the right dianosis. It also gives you a place to store and search relevant information all in one place. Reference textbooks and Internet searches can be time-consuming and difficult to search through.
Provide Patients the Ability to View and Download Their Health Info Online
As the age of technology continues to move forward, patients are wanting easy access to their own health information. Patient portals are the perfect way to give your patients access to everything they need. Patient portals let your patients schedule appointments online, fill out pre-appointment information and questionnaires, and review medical history. On top of that, it offers a secure messaging system that allows them to send and receive information with their healthcare providers and gain access to education materials and treatment instructions.
Protect Electronic Health Information
Performing a risk analysis is a Meaningful Use requirement, but it's also a good idea for any practice using an EHR software. Regularly monitoring your risk allows you to implement any necessary security updates in order to keep your patients' information secure. This could include everything from the physical safety of your practice, administrative safety, technical saftey, office policies, and organizational requirements.
Identify Patients Who Should Receive Reminders for Preventative or Follow-Up Care
Patient follow-up can be a time consuming task for your office staff. Whether your staff is sending emails or making phone calls to patients, it definitely takes up a chunk of their day. Some certified systems come with built in patient recall that allows you to customize your reminder and recall settings such as content, rules, and delivery method. And, your email and text reminders can be automated so that your staff can spend more time with patients in the office!
Use Secure Electronic Messaging to Communicate with Patients
As we mentioned before, patients are more often looking for easier ways to access their information. The same goes for communication with healthcare providers. Many times, patients are at work or on the go and prefer to have methods of communication other than phone calls. The ability to securely send direct messages not only to patients, but also other healthcare providers has streamlined the way we all communicate. Online direct messaging is more secure than phone calls and fax machines, and is a great way to help build team-based patient care with your patients and healthcare providers across specialties.
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