Stage 2 of Meaningful Use is a vital component to the initiative since it, as the U.S. government defines, “intends to increase health information exchange between providers and promote patient engagement by giving patients secure online access to their health information.”
As reported by Hospitals & Health Networks, only 140 hospitals have achieved Stage 2 of meaningful use. Throughout 2014, hospitals have been claiming that requirements such as this are more difficult to implement than originally thought. Assistance is needed in the form of decreased time for reporting periods or providers fear that they will face the severe penalties.
From the vendor side, to properly help providers, it is clear that we must be able to provide the answers to two key questions:
- Can the technology be optimized with the existing solutions in place?
- One of requirements for Stage 2 states that more than 5% of unique patients during the reporting period must use the hospital’s portal to view, download or transmit their health info to a third party. Since patients will be using the technology, is it intuitive and secure?
For both of the questions, I feel confident that Carestream would be able to answer, “Yes.” Our Vue RIS platform recently achieved Stage 2 certification, making it one of the first RIS platforms to achieve both Stage 1 and Stage 2 certifications. This means that those facilities using the system can exchange patient medical records and clinical documents with other certified EHR providers.
Beyond just being having an integrated solution, working with your clinical departments can enable capturing specific clinical data required: i.e. smoking cessation, BMI etc. In the case of the University of Virginia, the organization shared that radiology helped meaningful use attestation because it was able to capture the data that would not otherwise be captured.
With the Stage 2 certification, Vue RIS includes the following capabilities: family health history, the transfer and sharing of health information, and online patient access to information and communication. Additionally, the RIS platform can also be coupled with the MyVue patient portal to allow for patients to view their exam results, view and reschedule appointments, and also share the exam results with their primary care physicians.
Stage 2 of meaningful use has been deemed so vital to the future of healthcare because it is the first stage that involves the patients becoming ingrained in the process. As the patients become more in tune with their own health, we must make sure that we not only provide them with the tools to take action, but also the guidance and education on how best to use them, as well as the benefits these tools provide.
What have been your biggest challenges when working to achieve Stage 2 meaningful use? What have you been doing to combat these challenges, and what successes have resulted?