Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Meaningful Use is upon us, Are you ready for Stage 2?
Stage 2 of Meaningful Use began earlier this year, and we want to make sure that you’re ready for it! We even came up with a cheesy Valentine’s Day poem to remind you about it! Recently, I came across this great article that shows you how to be successful at meaningful use. The biggest tip it had was for participants to think beyond the program, which got me thinking…
We’ve emphasized a lot on the financial incentives of the program, but we haven’t had a post dedicated to helping you see the bigger picture. While the financial incentives from the program help you offset the cost of an EHR software, being part of the program also benefits your patients.
EHR Software and Your Practice’s Long Term Plan
The Meaningful Use Program is supposed to help you provide better patient care, better documentation, and increase communication and efficiency in your practice. So, instead of just meeting the minimum requirements of each objective in the program, try exceeding them! The article highlighted a great example of just how to. Let’s look at core objective 7.
- Core Objective: Provide more than 50 percent of your patients with access to their health information.
Although you are only required to help half of your patients become more engaged in their own healthcare, you should be aim to get everyone up to speed! You can do so by providing a patient portal to give them easy access to the important information such as education material, test results, and billing statements. Your patients will benefit from the convenience and it’s ultimately a powerful resource that helps them save time and manage their own health. This, in turn, saves your staff time from faxing records and dealing with paperwork.
In fact, managing their healthcare is what your patients want these days. An Accenture survey found that:
- 90 percent of patients surveyed prefer web-based access to health information and educational materials that help them manage their conditions.
- 88 percent would like to receive email reminders about preventative or follow-up care.
- 76 percent would like to be able to exchange online messages with their providers.
Let’s look at another core objective.
- Core objective: Provide an electronic summary-of-care record for more than 50 percent of your referrals and transitions of care, and conduct at least one successful electronic exchange of a summary-of-care record with a provider whose EHR system was designed by a different vendor than yours.
As long as your EHR and the other provider’s EHR are certified for Stage 2 meaningful use, you will be able to fulfill this requirement. The main goal is to encourage you to exchange these records electronically regardless of the EHR systems you and other providers use. The ability for doctors across different fields and practices to work together this seamlessly was never possible before EHRs and even Stage 2 certified EHRs. Technology has made it possible, so it is your duty to improve patient care and not just to demonstrate compliance.
The use of a certified EHR is not simply to fulfil the objectives in the Meaningful Use Program. If you think beyond it, it is an investment that helps your patients, improves efficiency, and makes your practice more competitive. So before you think that you’re ready for Stage 2, think beyond the incentives you can receive from the program. When done properly, increased patient satisfaction will lead to a larger patient base and more financial payoffs in the long run.
Looking for a practice management and EHR software that is Stage 2 certified? Check out Uprise!