Since the HITECH Act was passed, the majority of discussions around the stimulus funds have been around the phrase "meaningful use". Of course "meaningful use" of an EHR will determine the eligibility of an organization to be a recipient of stimulus funds in the form of Medicare or Medicaid incentive checks. HIMSS believes that the definition will evolve, and in it's final stages will consist of four key attributes:
- A functional EHR certified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technologh (CCHIT);
- Electronic exchange of standardized patient data with clinical and administrative stakeholders using the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel's (HITSP) interoperability specifications and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise's (IHE) frameworks;
- Clinical decision support providing clinicians with clinical knowledge and intelligently-filtered patient information to enhance patient care; and
- Capabilities to support process and care measurement that drive improvements in patient saftey, quality outcomes and cost reductions.
An electronic health record will be considered a "meaningful" product when it allows for electronic prescribing, electronic exchange of health information, and includes features for clinical decision support.