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“Meaningful Use” Program for Effective Electronic Health Record Technology

Introduction

The ultimate goal of nursing is to support the health needs of many patients and populations. The American government supports different sectors in order to improve the quality of healthcare in the country. Several programs are currently being used to improve the quality of care in the United States. One of these programs s called “Meaningful Use”. The “Meaningful Use program focuses on the continued use of certified and effective electric health record (EHR) technology” (Hoffman & Podgurski, 2011, p. 79). This essay presents three parts. These parts offer a detailed analysis of the issues associated with the Meaningful Use program. The first part presents an overview of the “Meaningful Use” program. This second part of the essay analyzes the applications and implications of Meaningful Use core criteria. This part will examine how the collection of Meaningful Use core criteria can impact the nature of nursing and national health policy. The next part will offer evidence-based recommendations for collection of additional criteria. The final part will give a detailed summary of the essay. This part will also give an analysis of the insights gained from the assignment.

Overview of “Meaningful Use” Program

The term “Meaningful Use” has become common in the country’s healthcare sector. Meaningful Use refers to the acquisition of modern technologies in order to improve the quality of care. Meaningful Use focuses on the use of Electronic Health Record (EHR) technologies. Such technologies should also be certified in order to get the best results. Such EHR technologies “are expected to improve safety, efficiency and quality in every medical practice” (Hoffman & Podgurski, 2011, p. 78). Certified EHR technology is also expected to reduce the health gaps encountered in different medical institutions. Meaningful Use is also expected to support many families and patients. This practice will eventually result in positive health outcomes.

Medical practitioners should coordinate different health practices. They should also promote the best health policies in order to support every targeted population. The use of different EHR technologies is expected to improve the level of care coordination. This new technology has the potential to secure patient health information (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). EHR technology will improve the level of privacy. These objectives explain why different stakeholders are currently supporting this program.

Many analysts believe strongly that this program will be beneficial in the future. According to Hoffman and Podgurski (2011, p. 79), “the program will result in better and advanced clinical outcomes”. Many underserved populations will also acquire improved health services. The level of efficiency will increase in the health sector. A proper implementation of the program will empower more citizens in the country. Every country should also consider the benefits of the Meaningful Use program. The program will “improve the nature of information-sharing” (Hoffman & Podgurski, 2011, p. 79). New health systems will be created in order to improve the quality of medical care (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). This overview shows clearly that the above program has the potential to support the health needs of many populations. This fact explains why different professionals and health institutions should embrace the use of different EHR technologies.

The Implications of Meaningful Use Core Criteria

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS) uses a number of stages to monitor the continued use of EHR technologies. The important thing is “for different hospitals and Eligible Professionals (EPs) to successfully attest to demonstrating meaningful use of certified EHRs” (Gray, Bowden, Johansen, & Koch, 2011, p. 4). This requirement determines whether such EPs and institutions qualify for incentive payments from the CMMS. However, most of these hospitals and EPs should not meet these qualifications within the first year. Such health organizations should embrace the use of different EHR technologies within the specified period (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). This process will “make it easier for such hospitals to receive their incentive payments from the government” (Gray et al., 2011, p. 5).

Healthcare organizations and EPs should embrace the use of EHRs. Such institutions should use these technologies effectively in order to achieve their health objectives. Hospitals must be meaningful users of EHRs in order to get their incentive payments. Such payments are availed through the country’s Medicare EHR Incentive Program (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). According to Chin and Sakuda (2012, p. 51), “the Meaningful Use objectives, criteria, and measures are expected to evolve systematically within the next five years”.

The first stage “focuses on data capturing and sharing” (Chin & Sakuda, 2012, p. 51). Throughout this stage, Meaningful Use criteria will focus on a number of objectives. The first objective is capturing the required health information using different electronic systems. This information should be stored in a standardized format. The information should also be used to track different signs and clinical conditions. This standardized information should also be shared electronically in order to improve the level of healthcare coordination. The other objective is ensuring that different families are engaged in every healthcare delivery process. The stage “will encourage more EPs and institutions to initiate the reporting of public health information and quality measures” (Gray et al., 2011, p. 8).

The second stage of the Meaningful Use criteria is currently focusing on specific objectives. The first goal is promoting the level of health information exchange (HIE). Hospitals are also required to incorporate different laboratory results. They should also e-transmit patient care information across different health settings (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). Every patient should also be allowed to verify his or her data.

The implementation of Meaningful Use is currently incomplete. Many professionals believe that the program will produce quality health outcomes in the future. This stage describes how the program will support the health needs of many underserved populations. The field of nursing will also benefit significantly from this program. To begin with, many nurses and healthcare providers will be able to interact with their patients (Chin & Sakuda, 2012).

Many patients will have “personalized systems and self-management tools” (Chin & Sakuda, 2012, p. 52). This approach will make it easier for many people to get the best medical results. The government will also use the gathered information to make accurate health policies. This practice will ensure the country develops an effective National Health Policy (NHP). This policy will support the changing needs of many citizens. According to Chin and Sakuda, 2012, p. 53), “the collection and implementation of Meaningful Use core criteria will improve the health of the America’s population”. The “concept of patient-centered HIE will ensure many practitioners access comprehensible medical data” (Chin & Sakuda, 2012, p. 54).

The government can use the gathered electronic data for decision-making processes. A “powerful decision support system will emerge for every national high-priority condition” (Hoffman & Podgurski, 2011, p. 78). That being the case, Meaning Use core criteria is a powerful strategy that has the potential to transform the future of America’s health sector. Nurses should embrace the use of EHR in order to support their patients. The practice will result in faster, effective, and reliable medical care. The “gathered patient data provides an evidence-based pool of information that can be used to make quality healthcare decisions” (Chin & Sakuda, 2012, p. 54).

Evidence-Based Recommendations for the Collection of Additional Criteria

The above collection criteria explain how medical professionals can transform the future of healthcare. The Meaningful Use compliance will eventually empower many individuals and practitioners in the medical field. The continued use of EHR technology will improve the level of efficiency and transparency. Many health practitioners will be able to use every gathered data to formulate new medical concepts. The practice will eventually support the health needs of many people in the country. This fact shows clearly that the Meaningful Use program will result in positive clinical outcomes (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). However, the program might not be used to collect every critical data.

The issue of eligibility makes this program less effective. For instance, many patients may not visit some of the accredited hospitals. Many hospitals are also unable to implement the use of these EHR technologies. That being the case, it would be necessary for these hospitals to gather quality data from every community. The individuals living in the targeted communities will present useful data that can result in better national health policies (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). This Meaningful Use program will have evolved by 2016.

The other recommendation is encouraging every health institutions to collect relevant health information from different patients and their relatives. The criteria will ensure every health professional identifies new practices that can produce better outcomes. Health practitioners should combine the collected information in order to promote the nature of medical practice. These hospitals should also use different technologies in order to improve the quality of care. The “use of medical informatics will improve the level of care coordination” (Hoffman & Podgurski, 2011, p. 79). Such hospitals should also produce electronic versions of their current analog data. This information will be used to make evidence-based medical decisions.

Conclusion

The Meaning Use program embraces the adoption of EHR technology. The above three stages will eventually deliver the targeted goals of the program. Some of these goals include “increased transparency in health practice, empowerment of populations, and better clinical outcomes” (Gray et al., 2011, p. 12). Nurses will acquire evidence-based ideas in order to support the changing health needs of their clients. This practice will eventually produce the best patient outcomes. It would be necessary to convert and avail the collected information using these EHR technologies. Hospitals should also collect quality data from both non-patients and patients. Every possible data should be gathered in order to produce the best health policies. This approach will eventually ensure more people get the best health services. Many people can gain new ideas and concepts from this assignment. This exercise has examined how technology can improve the future of medical care. Medical professionals should use different EHR technologies in order to offer evidence-based care to their patients. The exercise has identified powerful practices that can improve the quality of care.

Reference List

Chin, B., & Sakuda, C. (2012). Transforming and Improving Health Care through Meaningful Use of Health Information Technology. Hawaii Journal of Medicine and Public Health, 71(4), 50-55.

Gray, B., Bowden, T., Johansen, I., & Koch, S. (2011). Electronic Health Records: An International Perspective on “Meaningful Use”. The Commonwealth Fund, 28(1), 1-16.

Hoffman, S., & Podgurski, A. (2011). Meaningful Use and Certification of Health Information Technology: What about Safety? Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, 1(1), 77-80.

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. (2015). Nursing Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett.