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Step 5: Achieve Meaningful Use Stage 2

Patient-Specific Education Resources

Objective:

Use clinically relevant information from Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) to identify patient-specific education resources and provide those resources to the patient.

Measure:

Patient-specific education resources identified by CEHRT are provided to patients for more than 10 percent of all unique patients with office visits seen by the EP during the EHR reporting period.

Changes from Meaningful Use Stage 1:

The Patient-Specific Education Resources Objective changed from being a Menu Objective in Stage 1 to a Core Objective in Stage 2.

Clinical Importance:

Patient-specific education is designed to help medical professionals and patients make better decisions about their health and links to relevant information with extensive articles, videos, and images for the patient. Patient-centered education allows for the patient to better understand their health and make informed lifestyle adjustments.

CMS Resources:

The following resources are available to help you meet the Patient-Specific Education Resources meaningful use core measure:

CMS EHR Incentive Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Lessons from the Field:

I’ve found it most effective to identify at least one of the chronic problems a patient has and giving them patient education materials on that specific problem, and then rotate so I just give them a different patient educational piece each time.” -Richard Hempel, MD, No Digital Divide in this Rural Kentucky Practice

Patient education resources can provide information specific to the patient’s health condition, their point in care (such as whether the patient is newly diagnosed or has been living with a condition), and health care decisions they may face. Providing patients with appropriate education resources can help them remember important information, improve their ability to manage their health, and increase their participation in informed decision making.

Ideally, providers should share educational resources during the consultation (as opposed to at check out or via the patient portal only). Sharing resources during the consultation allows providers to review materials directly with the patient, point out critical information, highlight action items, and check for understanding. In the case of online resources, such as interactive tools, providers can demonstrate how to access and use the tools. Other lessons learned for providing patient-specific educational resources are:

  1. asking patients their information preferences, including their language preference and whether they prefer print materials or other formats and offering education resources to patients in a variety of formats, such as print materials or via an online patient portal;
  2. placing printers and computers strategically in the health care setting so that providers can easily access printed materials and view online education resources with the patient during the consultation; and
  3. automating the process for identifying appropriate education resources as much as possible to avoid the need for manual searches during the consultation. Depending on the integration with the EHR, this process may be highly automated and generate resources linked with various patient characteristics. If automation is limited, providers can create a “favorites” list to minimize searching.

National Learning Consortium Resources:

The NLC resources are examples of tools that are used in the field today, and that are recommended by “boots-on-the-ground” professionals. The NLC, in partnership with HealthIT.gov, shares this collective EHR implementation knowledge and resources throughout this site. 

National Learning Consortium Resources
Resource NameDescriptionSource

MedlinePlus Connect

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Online, free service allows health organizations and health IT providers to link patient portals and EHR systems to MedlinePlus, an authoritative up-to-date health information resource for patients, families, and health care providers.

U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Providing Patients with Patient-Specific Education Resources

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[DOCX - 920 KB]

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and tips related to Menu Measure 6: Patient-Specific Education Resources

Health Information Technology Resource Center (HITRC)

FAQs about the Patient Portal (for Patients)

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[DOCX - 739 KB]

A patient-facing FAQ document on patient portals provides information on several frequently asked questions from patients including what is a patient portal, why is it important, what can it be used for, and how to get access.

Health Information Technology Resource Center (HITRC)

Using Patient Portals in Ambulatory Care Settings Fact Sheet

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[DOCX - 754 KB]

A fact sheet on patient portals provides background information, Meaningful Use requirements, common concerns, and tips for launching the portal.

Health Information Technology Resource Center (HITRC)

The material in these guides and tools represents the collective EHR implementation experiences and knowledge gained directly from the field of ONC’s outreach programs (REC, Beacon, State HIE) and through the Health Information Technology Research Center (HITRC) Communities of Practice (CoPs) in their performance of technical support and EHR implementation assistance to primary care providers. The information contained in these resources is not intended to serve as legal advice nor should it substitute for legal counsel. The resource list is not exhaustive, and readers are encouraged to seek additional detailed technical guidance to supplement the information contained herein.

Reference in this web site to any specific resources, tools, products, process, service, manufacturer, or company does not constitute its endorsement or recommendation by the U.S. Government or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 

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