Meaningful Use Stage 2 – Why Is It Essential

Meaningful Use refers to the measure that prompts the medical providers to implement and utilize electronic health records (EHR) in healthcare centers. By digitalizing the healthcare industry, the overall quality of the care and facilities provided to the patients is improved, thereby ensuring more safety to the patients. Stage 1 of Meaningful Use includes 13 core objectives, whereas Meaningful Use Stage 2 comprises of 17 core objectives.

In Meaningful Use Stage 2, some new measures have been included. The features are securing messaging, family health history, having progress notes, and the option to send patient health records in a secure email format. According to the CSC report, the measure that has been recommended for the program, where Meaningful Use Stage 2 attestation is required, includes several measures that are unchanged from Stage 1, and also some, which are no longer options in the current version. Along with this, some unique measures have also been introduced in the Stage 2.

Reports also suggest that the providers will be having almost two years in order to verify that they have adequately met the Meaningful Use Stage 1 requirements. The final rule that has already been released has made it much easier for the providers and vendors alike to implement the same on their updated systems. Implementing the Meaningful Use Stage 2 attestation usually requires a provider to send a summary of care record for more than 50 percent of transitions of cares and referrals in a healthcare centre. According to the rule, the providers can electronically transmit a summary care for transitions of care and referrals. In short, Meaningful Use Stage 2 usually highlights the electronic exchange of patient records.

Of late, Meaningful Use Stage 2 attestation among top hospitals and providers has increased considerably, at least according to what the reports say. Earlier, the Health IT committee suggested its providers, especially those who met in 2011, to be permitted to wait until this year when Stage 2 is launched. This was to make sure that most hospitals and doctors beginning the Stage 1 in 2012 would not be affected when they opt for Meaningful Use Stage 2 attestation later.

Thus, as mentioned earlier, Meaningful Use Stage 2 ensures that the overall facilities and services provided by the hospitals and other healthcare centers are improved. Hence, it has more or less become mandatory for medical centers to move to Meaningful Use Stage 2.