Preview of Proposed Rules for EHR Stage 2 Meaningful UseFebruary 21, 2012
There is a tremendous amount of anticipation among providers and health IT vendors for the official release of the proposed rules for EHR Stage 2 of Meaningful Use scheduled to be published later this month.
According to a report put together by CSC, Meaningful Use Stage 2 to focus on health record sharing and patient engagement. The report strongly encourages that providers and practices should double their efforts on securing capabilities to coordinate care, engage with their patients, and electronically capture the data needed for quality reporting. Providers and practices choosing the right Health IT Services vendor is a key step towards securing these capabilities as they are very likely to be included in the menu set of the proposed rules for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use.
The content and insights found in the CSC report, along with others that have been published in recent months, are very consistent with recommendations developed by the Health IT Policy Committee back in August 5, 2011. The Health IT Policy Committee advises the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT on all health IT related matters and policy including Meaningful Use.
The Health IT Policy Committee cites in their recommendation that their construct of core plus menu options of clinical measures is aligned with HSS’ National Quality Strategy (NQS), intended to promote better care, healthy people and communities, and reduce the cost of quality care. The NQS has six core objectives: safer care, patient and family engagement, care coordination, effective prevention and treatment for leading causes starting with cardiovascular health, community health promotion, and affordable care.
The NQS objectives correspond closely to the recommended six domains for the menu set of the proposed rules for Stage 2 Meaningful Use. The recommended six domains for Stage 2 Meaningful Use are:
1) Patient and Family Engagement: measures/concepts that reflect potential impact to improve patient-centered care and quality of care delivered to patients, the importance of collecting patient-reported data, and measures with the ability to impact at the individual patient level as well as the population level.
2) Efficiency measures: measures/concepts that significantly improve outcomes and reduce errors and /or to impact and benefit a large number of patients with an emphasis on utilization, overuse and appropriate use of care.
3) Patient Safety: measures/concepts that reflect patient safety in both hospital and ambulatory settings and processes that would reduce harm to patients and reduce burden of illness; ability to enable longitudinal assessment of condition-specific, patient-focused episodes of care, and unmet needs of population/public health.
4) Population and Public Health: measures that are outcome focused, and delta-focused with the ability to achieve longitudinal measurement that will demonstrate improvement or lack of improvement of the health of the U.S. population.
5) Care Coordination: measures/concepts that reflect aspects of care coordination and can improve appropriate and timely patient and care team communication.
6) Clinical Processes: measures that reflect clinical care processes closely linked to outcomes, based on evidence and practice guidelines.
The entire healthcare landscape of the United States should expect that the official proposed rules for Stage 2 Meaningful Use will support a framework for quality improvement, safer patient centered care, and a more efficient healthcare delivery system.