UpdateA recent press release by CMS provided an update on the EHR Incentive Programs and the real impact of Meaningful Use requirements on the nation’s healthcare system. Below are highlights that show the effect Meaningful Use objectives are having on patients, providers, and the nation’s public health.



Impact of Meaningful Use on Patients
Many meaningful use requirements directly affect patients, whether through giving them greater access to their health information or through enhanced engagement and collaboration with their providers. Whether they have received an electronic reminder about follow–up–care, or accessed an electronic copy of their health information following an appointment, patients are experiencing positive changes in how they interact with the health care system because of health information technology.

  • Electronic prescribing (eRx)–More than 190 million electronic prescriptions have been sent by eligible professionals (EPs) for their patients.
  • Patient reminders–More than 13 million patient reminders were sent for patients aged 65 or older or 5 years of age or younger about preventive/follow-up care. 
  • Patient electronic access–More than 33 million patients received electronic access to their health information.

Impact of Meaningful Use on Providers
Some meaningful use requirements are focused on helping providers make more informed decisions, deliver better care, and create greater efficiencies.  These tools can help to prevent duplicative testing, eliminate adverse drug reactions, and enhance provider collaboration.  

Because millions of lab results were entered into EHRs, millions of medication reconciliations were performed, and millions of transitions of care summaries were generated, providers across the nation were able to access more information about their patients, better enabling them to provide the right care at the right time.   

Impact of Meaningful Use on Public Health
Stage 1 meaningful use menu objectives encourage providers to send data to immunization registries and public health agencies. Stage 2 will continue to encourage the transmission of data to registries and public health agencies to inform health care policy decisions, drive best practices, and improve our nation’s public health.

 As more providers continue to successfully participate in the EHR Incentive Programs, and as current meaningful users become more advanced in their implementation, we expect the impact of meaningful use on the health care industry to continue to grow, and patients to reap the benefits of improved outcomes.