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Tips on implementing your practice’s Meaningful Use plan

February 24, 2011

President Barack Obama has challenged U.S. healthcare providers to improve the way they manage patient information by adopting electronic health record systems, and is offering fiscal incentives for practices that make the switch before 2014.

But qualifying for the payments – demonstrating “meaningful use” of an EHR – will require work. Practices must meet 20 government criteria, such as computerized physician order entry (CPOE), maintaining active medication lists and electronically submitting information to immunization registries.

“With thousands of dollars on the table, eligible healthcare professionals must be ready” to demonstrate meaningful use, writes Elizabeth Woodcock in a recent Sage healthcare whitepaper. She acknowledges that even doctors who are already using EHR may be challenged by the government’s criteria. However, the investment of time should pay off when a practice qualifies for federal incentives.

Woodcock suggests a medical group set up a practice plan by prioritizing its implementation steps and categorizing them by the EHR functions it already uses versus those it has yet to adopt. Try setting up a spreadsheet such as the one on Sage’s website to track progress.

Once a group’s EHR system is equipped to perform tasks meeting the government criteria, plan how to implement them. Then register the practice’s intent to participate in the incentive program with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Visit our website to read Elizabeth’s white paper, learn more about the Sage Intergy Meaningful Use Edition and view an online demonstration.

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