Health Information Management

HIMSS suggests meaningful use definition to ONC

HIM-HIPAA Insider, May 5, 2009

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The Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society (HIMSS) submitted its definition of "meaningful use of certified EHR technologies" to the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for consideration, according to a HIMSS April 27 letter. 

HIMSS also published two documents that further outline its definition:

HIMSS recommends that the ONC introduce requirements in incremental stages that become increasingly more stringent over time. In the final phase, which would commence in fiscal year 2015, HIMSS states that meaningful use must include at least four attributes:

  • A functional EHR certified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT)
  • Electronic exchange of standardized patient data with clinical and administrative stakeholders using the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel’s interoperability specifications and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise’s frameworks
  • Clinical decision support providing clinicians with clinical knowledge and intelligently-filtered patient information to enhance patient care
  • Capabilities to support process and care measurement that drive improvements in patient safety, quality outcomes, and cost reductions

Another recommendation is to name CCHIT as the certifying body for EHR technology. "CCHIT has been in existence for several years; it has demonstrated long-term commitment to an open and transparent process; much of its development was made possible through tax-payer dollars; and, it has proven itself to be an effective and reputable certifying body," according to the HIMSS document.

HIMSS also recommends that HHS collaborate with CCHIT to reconcile the gap between certified, open source, and best of breed technologies to enable hospitals to continue to weigh their options regarding purchasing one integrated system versus using a best-of-breed approach for richer functionality, greater user satisfaction, and cost effectiveness.

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