How Does Electronic Healthcare Records Provide Additional Recommendations For The Next Stage Of Meaningful Use?

How Does Electronic Healthcare Records Provide Additional Recommendations For The Next Stage Of Meaningful Use?

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The objective of this paper is to define the Meaningful Use program, its core criteria, discuss how this impacts nursing and provide additional recommendations for the next stage of Meaningful Use.

Overview of Meaningful Use

Electronic healthcare records (EHR) have been around for decades, however, their adaptation by hospitals and facilities have been slow due to costs and logistics. The implementation of EHRs is important because they standardize and compile data that can be easily retrieved and analyzed to improve the quality of care and reduce costs by improving access to critical information. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (AARA), a large stimulus package enacted by Congress in 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was established to improve healthcare quality, safety and efficiency through the promotion of EHRs ("Looking Ahead to 2014: EHR Integration and Meaningful Use | The Sentinel Watch," 2014). The motivation behind the HITECH Act is the creation of a national infrastructure that would support an EHR for every American and provide valuable information to improve overall population health (Chamberlain College of Nursing, 2015). Under the HITECH Act, $27 billion was appropriated to improve health information technology and as incentives for hospitals and healthcare providers to use EHRs (Snyder & Oliver, 2014). By authorizing payments through Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, hospitals and providers were incentivized not only to adopt EHRs but also to use them in a manner that improves efficiency and outcomes.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) defines the use of EHRs as “Meaningful Use” data and has created a set of st...

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...oth the individual and overall healthcare cost reduction.
As point of care providers, nurses are an integral component of meaningful use data collection and reporting. Nurses not only capture information such as vital signs and care interventions, they provide information regarding patient behaviors, patterns, and preferences that influence the patient’s experience and outcome. While the implementation and benefits of EHRs are undisputed, lack of cohesion among different providers, flawed technology, and heavy government regulations have wounded the ideal outcome. More examination is needed into the of quality systems and patient specific functions along with having nurse input to the workflow of documentation. These suggestions would greatly impact the idea of an EHR for every American so that it truly adds values and improves the quality of care.

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