Healthcare IT News reports that MU Stage 2 issues surrounding EHR functionality and health information exchange are being considered by the Health IT Standards Committee.
To put meaningful use in perspective, Stage 1 MU is described by CMS: “The Stage 1 criteria for meaningful use focus on electronically capturing health information in a coded format, using that information to track key clinical conditions, communicating that information for care coordination purposes, and initiating the reporting of clinical quality measures and public health information.” Specifically, measure #11 states: “Provide patients with an electronic copy of their health information (including diagnostic test results, problem list, medication lists, medication allergies, discharge summary, procedures), upon request.”
The committee agreed that the methods of exchange are up to the provider, but will be accompanied by standards and testing. This is where the ONC is working on getting more specific on “deploying the standards” and standardizing vocabularies that are healthcare-specific, which is essential for interoperability as information is passed on.
Stage 2 “expands on Stage 1 in areas of disease management, clinical decision support, medication management support for patient access to their health information, transitions in care, quality measurement and research, and bi-directional communication with public health agencies. These changes will be reflected by a larger number of core objective requirements for Stage 2.” For example, in Stage 2, providers use health information exchange to send PHI to a PHR.
Information exchange is crucial to care coordination and CMS anticipates the infrastructure will support greater requirements for using HIEs for Stage 2.
Stage 3 focuses on “achieving improvements in quality, safety and efficiency, focusing on decision support for national high priority conditions, patient access to self management tools, access to comprehensive patient data, and improving population health outcomes.”
ONC will release certification criteria and the proposed rule for standards for Stage 2 by the end of the year with their focus on lab reporting, care transitions, public health reporting and quality measures.