Overview for Physicians

What Is Meaningful Use?

Meaningful Use is a national initiative that defines how hospitals and physicians must use electronic health records (EHRs) in ways that benefit patients. Some examples of meaningful use of EHRs include proper documentation of a patient’s allergies, vital signs, medications, and problems, as well as the ability to report on certain quality measures.

Why Do We Care About It?

Our vision is to heal humanity through science and compassion, one patient at a time. We will do this by delivering the highest quality care and service to every patient, every time. To accomplish this, we must meaningfully use our EHR to have the right information in the right place for every patient, every time.

How Is This Being Supported?

The federal government has established this initiative as a foundation for improving healthcare quality and value. The key elements of meaningful use, as specifically defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), are outlined for you in this guide. CMS will provide SHC with financial incentives through 2015 to help offset the costs of installing Epic. CMS will impose penalties, starting in 2015, for organizations and physicians who have not met their requirements.

How Will It Affect Me?

For the most part, the effect on physicians during the current stage of Meaningful Use is minimal. Many requirements are met by your colleagues on the care team, such as nurses, MAs, and check-out desk staff.

In general, the requirements for physicians are to:

  1. Review and ensure the accuracy of important data such as allergies and medications

  2. Use the problem list

  3. Use Epic for prescriptions

How Are We Measured?

Our performance is measured and reported for inpatient care at the hospital level, and for outpatient care at the level of each individual attending physician. The Epic system will produce reports that will track our compliance with each of the Meaningful Use requirements.

What Will Happen To My Data?

Attending physician data will be made available in Epic for all to review as desired. Click here for CMS instructions. Data will be internally reviewed on a regular basis, and Finance will submit details to CMS after all federal requirements are met.