The Progress of Meaningful Use Stage 2

healthcare-meaningful-useThe term “Meaningful Use” gets thrown around quite a bit in the healthcare industry, but if it is not one of your direct responsibilities, you might not be aware of all that it entails. When a healthcare organization adopts the use of certified electronic health records (EHR) technology, they are said to be practicing Meaningful Use. As you can imagine, with the industry moving more into the digital space and taking advantage of mHealth technology, this is occurring more frequently.

Meaningful Use is divided into three stages. Stage 1 occurred from 2011 to 2012, Stage 2 is currently in progress and Stage 3 is set to begin in 2016. Stage 2’s objective is to advance clinical processes. In this stage, eligible providers are required to show that five percent of unique users are sending secure electronic messages through their patient portal or EHR system.

Lagging Numbers

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) revealed the most recent Stage 2 statistics. According to Healthcare IT News, to date, 1 percent of eligible providers and 3 percent of eligible hospitals have satisfied Stage 2’s requirements. While these numbers are early, having just been released, they are still quite low.

To be included in these numbers, providers needed to have a 2014-certified EHR installed by January 1, 2014. Additionally, they needed to finish the reporting period by April 1, 2014 and attest by July 1, 2014. This was the first time that the reporting period was structured in this way. Naturally, with a new timeline and reporting schedule, along with data being early, the reported numbers are low. However, they are drastically lower than some expected.

2014 Expectations

Recently, Healthcare IT News revealed results from a Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) assessment – 2014 Meaningful Use Stage 2 Readiness. In this assessment, 71 percent of hospitals said they expected to attest to Stage 2 by the end of 2014, and just 22 percent said they would in 2015. Additionally, 75 percent of hospitals said that they had installed and were running 2014 certified EHR products, while just over 20 percent were nearing completion of installation.

Second quarter numbers are starting to be reported – we may see an increase in the number of providers and hospitals satisfying Stage 2’s requirements by the end of the year, but for now we’ll have to wait and see.

mHealth as a Meaningful Use Vehicle

Is your healthcare organization struggling with Meaningful Use Stage 2? An mHealth application can serve as a module to help you meet Stage 2’s requirements. If you are looking to adopt an mHealth app for this reason, you will need to make sure that it:

  • Electronically records and stores patient information
  • Establishes secure communication between patients and your healthcare organization

Additionally, when choosing an app for your organization, ensure that it encompasses all functionality that you will need – from trackable patient compliance to secure delivery of test and procedure results.

In the midst of the wave of mHealth technology coming to market, Smart Clinic has emerged as an industry-leading app that will satisfy your organization’s needs by incorporating key features that increase patient compliance, engagement and satisfaction. Interested in learning more about what Smart Clinic has to offer? Check out a live demo of the app!

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