On December 28, 2009, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed draft standards for electronic health records. In short, the standards reinforce the view that it is not enough to simply HAVE an electronic records system in place. Rather, it is the intent of the federal government that practices be utilizing their EHR's effectively to improve patient care.
Eligible healthcare practitioners and hospital systems can qualify for federal incentive dollars through Medicare and Medicaid if they are able to meet the established "Meaningful Use Criteria".
Want to know if your EHR is going to meet the standard? Here is some of the functionality under consideration as part of Phase 1:
□ Electronically record, store, retrieve, and manage: Medications; Laboratory; Radiology/imaging; and Provider referrals?
□ Automatically and electronically generate alerts at the point of care for drug‐drug and drug‐allergy contraindications?
□ Enable a user to electronically check if drugs are in a formulary or preferred drug list?
□ Electronically record, modify, and retrieve a patient’s problem list?
□ Electronically transmit medication orders (prescriptions) for patients?
□ Electronically record, modify, and retrieve a patient’s active medication list as well as medication history?
□ Electronically record, modify, and retrieve a patient’s active medication allergy list as well as medication allergy history?
□ Electronically record, modify, and retrieve patient demographic data?
□ Enable a user to electronically record, modify, and retrieve a patient’s vital signs?
□ Automatically calculate and display body mass index (BMI)?
□ Plot and electronically display, upon request, growth charts (height, weight, and BMI) for patients 2‐20 years old?
□ Electronically record, modify, and retrieve the smoking status of a patient?
□ Electronically receive clinical laboratory test results in a structured format and display such results in human readable format?
□ Electronically display in human readable format any clinical laboratory tests that have been received with LOINC® codes?
□ Electronically select, sort, retrieve, and output a list of patients and patients’ clinical information, based on user‐defined demographic data, medication list, and specific conditions?
□ Calculate and electronically display quality measure results as specified by CMS or states?
□ Electronically submit calculated clinical quality measures?
□ Electronically generate a patient reminder list for preventive or follow‐up care according to patient preferences based on demographic data, specific conditions, and/or medication list?
□ Implement automated, electronic clinical decision support rules (in addition to drug‐drug and drug allergy contraindication checking) according to specialty or clinical priorities that use demographic data, specific patient diagnoses, conditions, diagnostic test results and/or patient medication list?
□ Automatically and electronically generate and indicate real‐time, alerts and care suggestions based upon clinical decision support rules and evidence grade?
□ Automatically and electronically track, record, and generate reports on the number of alerts responded to by a user?
□ Electronically record and display patients’ insurance eligibility, and submit insurance eligibility queries to public or private payers and receive an eligibility response?
□ Electronically submit claims to public or private payers?
□ Create an electronic copy of a patient’s clinical information, including, at a minimum, diagnostic test results, problem list, medication list, medication allergy list, immunizations, and procedures?
□ Provide clinical summaries to patients (in paper or electronic form) for each office visit that include, at a minimum, diagnostic test results, medication list, medication allergy list, procedures, problem list, and immunizations?
□ Electronically receive a patient summary record, from other providers and organizations including, at a minimum, diagnostic test results, problem list, medication list, medication allergy list, immunizations, and procedures and upon receipt of a patient summary?
□ Transmit a patient summary record to other providers and organizations including, at a minimum, diagnostic test results, problem list, medication list, medication allergy list, immunizations, and procedures?
□ Electronically complete medication reconciliation of two or more medication lists (compare and merge) into a single medication list that can be electronically displayed in real‐time?
□ Encrypt and decrypt electronic health information?
□ Verify that a person or entity seeking access to electronic health information is the one claimed and is authorized to access such information?