Healthcare organizations and providers are increasingly focused on finding ways to improve efficiency, simplify operations, and achieve more positive patient outcomes. The Meaningful Use (MU) program—also called the Promoting Interoperability (PI) program—was established to help accomplish exactly that. However, successfully complying with these mandates requires a strategic approach and the right technology.
Find out what Meaningful Use is and how InteliChart’s Patient Portal helps healthcare practices and providers address it.
Meaningful Use: What It Is and How It Impacts Practices
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) established the Meaningful Use program in 2009 as part of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). The Meaningful Use program—which is divided into three different stages—is designed to encourage providers to demonstrate “meaningful use” of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology.
The hope is that the Meaningful Use program will promote widespread adoption of certified EHRs, improving the quality, safety, and efficiency of patient care. More simply put, Meaningful Use requirements aim to boost patient care by using the EHR to improve communications and information sharing between patients and providers, as well as from provider to provider and provider to payer.
To qualify for Meaningful Use incentives and avoid penalties, providers must meet specific criteria from each of the three stages:
Stage 1: Data Capture and Sharing
Stage 1 Meaningful Use established requirements for the electronic capture of clinical data, including providing patients with digital records of health information. The primary objective of Stage 1 Meaningful Use requirements was to motivate eligible providers and their organizations to adopt EHRs and use them to store health information digitally.
Stage 2: Clinical Processes
Building upon Stage 1 requirements, Stage 2 Meaningful Use expanded criteria to focus on advancing clinical processes, encouraging use of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) for continuous quality improvement at the point of care, and ultimately exchanging information in the most structured format possible.
Stage 3: Improved Outcomes
Stage 3 Meaningful Use was added in 2017 (in addition to Stage 2 modifications) with a focus on driving interoperability between certified EHRs to facilitate secure, efficient sharing of health data to improve health outcomes. It also calls for increased use of APIs to allow patients to view, download, and share their health data across EHRs.
How InteliChart’s Patient Portal Addresses Meaningful Use
InteliChart’s Patient Portal was the first to receive ONC Meaningful Use certification, and it continues to lead the way. The solution provides the capabilities and security that practices and providers need to meet their Meaningful Use requirements, such as:
Automating Manual Practice Workflows
More and more, healthcare practices are turning to technology to automate manual work. InteliChart’s Patient Portal automates and streamlines a number of manual workflows, greatly reducing the workload for practice staff and providers while also improving the patient experience.
For example, patients can use the portal to schedule appointments online and fill out intake forms at their own convenience. Patient Portal also simplifies management of technical tasks impacting patients, such as password resets and new user registration.
Automating manual processes helps practices decrease help desk tickets and phone calls to schedule appointments or troubleshoot technical issues.
Enabling Secure Two-Way Communication
Communication plays a vital role in demonstrating Meaningful Use. Patients need easy, efficient ways to engage with their providers without playing an endless game of phone tag. Patient Portal offers a convenient and secure way for healthcare patients and consumers to send, receive, and respond to direct messages with staff or providers.
By using InteliChart’s Patient Portal to securely communicate with patients on their own terms, providers can boost engagement, improve adherence, strengthen patient-provider relationships, and ultimately have a positive impact on health outcomes.
Improving Patient Access to Health Information
Ensuring patient access to health records increases engagement and empowers patients to be their own care advocates. Patients are more likely to take a proactive role in their healthcare and make healthy lifestyle choices when health records are readily accessible to them—which is where EHRs come in.
Patient Portal integrates with more than 30 of today’s leading EHR solutions with just a single API integration, offering patients secure, easy access to all of their health information in one centralized location. In turn, EHR vendors benefit from gaining access to a full platform of patient engagement tools to enhance their existing offering.
Simplifying Transitions from a Previous Portal
In some cases, healthcare practices may be reluctant to switch portals, fearing it may impact their Meaningful Use metrics. Fortunately, InteliChart has a process that eliminates those concerns and creates a seamless transition.
As a result, no historical health data is lost—but a more patient-centric portal that helps address Meaningful Use is gained. Tidewater Physician Multispecialty Group (TPMG) is the perfect example of a healthcare organization that benefited in many ways by transitioning to InteliChart’s Patient Portal.
“As someone in charge of Meaningful Use and PHI, transitioning to a new portal caused me serious concern. But with InteliChart’s migration process and their historical data management, all of our patients’ historical health data was brought forward on day one. I saw firsthand how quickly our MU numbers returned to pre-conversion levels, so I encourage other people in my position to set that fear aside,” says Hope Owens, LPN, NCP, Director of Systems Implementation and Support at TPMG.
Request a demo to learn more about InteliChart’s Patient Portal and how it helps healthcare organizations like TPMG address Meaningful Use.