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Work Group Scales Back Number of Stage 3 Meaningful Use Objectives

February 19, 2014
by David Raths
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Several public health objectives removed

With feedback from the Health IT Policy Committee that it should scale back the number of objectives in Stage 3 of meaningful use, the Meaningful Use Work Group held a session Feb. 19 to cull several objectives.

Paul Tang, M.D., co-chair of the committee, said the guidance from the Policy Committee was to reduce the overall number of objectives and focus on patient engagement, care coordination and population health. The MU work group was asked to consider the burdens on physicians and the needs of specialists, and to avoid requirements where standards are not mature. Several of the objectives eliminated have to do with public health reporting. Others involved efforts the committee members have been working on for years.

Earlier in the week, the work group members had taken a quick poll about which objectives to remove and the Feb. 19 meeting went over a discussion of those objectives. Among the objectives the work group voted to remove after the discussion include:

Reminders: Physicians use relevant data to identify patients who should receive reminders for preventive/follow-up care.

eMAR: Hospitals automatically track medications from order to administration using assistive technologies in conjunction with an electronic medication administration record (eMAR).

Medication adherence: Access medication fill information from pharmacy benefit manager and access prescription drug monitoring program data in a streamlined way.

• Imaging: For both EPs (menu) and EHs (core) imaging results should be included in the EHR. Access to the images themselves should be available through the EHR (e.g., via a link).

Case reports to prompt when criteria are met for public health case reporting.

• Electronic lab reporting to public health:  Core: EHs and CAHs submit electronic reportable laboratory results, for the entire reporting period, to public health agencies, except where prohibited, and in accordance with applicable law and practice.

• Syndromic surveillance: EP (menu) Eligible Hospitals and CAHs (core) submit syndromic surveillance data for the entire reporting period from CEHRT to public health agencies, except where prohibited, and in accordance with applicable law and practice.

• Family history: Eligible professionals and hospitals record patient family health history as structured data for one or more first-degree relatives.

The group voted to retain objective recommendations related to clinical decision support, hospital labs, registries and unique device identifiers. The work group plans to refine its recommendations to the Policy Committee around the remaining objectives.