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Basics of Health IT

Meaningful Use of Health IT

What Is “Meaningful Use?

Electronic health records (EHRs) can work wonders — but not by themselves. Buying an exercise machine won’t burn off fat by itself. Likewise, the benefits of putting an EHR in a doctor’s office or hospital depend on how it’s used.

To encourage “meaningful use” of EHRs, the Federal government will give bonus payments to doctors and hospitals that meaningfully use EHRs to improve the quality of care, reduce medical errors, and improve efficiency.

To qualify for these incentives, doctors and hospitals are taking certain steps to make sure that their use of EHRs will benefit you. These include actions that will:

  • Give you quicker access to your health information
  • Help to protect your medical privacy
  • Give you a summary of each visit
  • Help to prevent from drug errors
  • Make your health information available to share with other doctors, according to your preferences, in order to coordinate your care

For more information on meaningful use, visit the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

Last updated: Tuesday, January 15, 2013