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Step 5: Achieve Meaningful Use Stage 1

Electronic Exchange of Clinical Information

Objective:

Capability to exchange key clinical information (for example, problem list, medication list, medication allergies, and diagnostic test results), among providers of care and patient authorized entities electronically.

Measure:

Performed at least one test of certified EHR technology's capacity to electronically exchange key clinical information.

Changes as of August 2012:

Beginning in 2013, the objective for electronic exchange of key clinical information is no longer required for Stage 1 for EPs, eligible hospitals, and CAHs. Providers faced numerous challenges in understanding the requirements for this objective, so CMS is moving instead to a more robust requirement for electronic health information exchange as a part of the Stage 2 objective for providing a summary of care record following a transition of care or referral.

Clinical Importance

The ability to exchange clinical information to referring or consulting providers is essential for effective and efficient coordinated care. Having the information in an electronic format makes the possibility of information exchange that much easier. The electronic exchange of patient information with other providers means that practices can finally share patients’ vital medical history quickly, easily, and completely. This information can be exchanged regardless of where your patients are receiving care—be it specialists’ offices, labs or an emergency room. Having access to this data provides safer, more effective care tailored to your patients’ unique medical needs.

CMS Resources

The following resources are available to help you meet the Electronic Exchange of Clinical Information meaningful use core measure:

Related CMS EHR Incentive Program Frequently Asked Questions

Lessons from the Field

"Initiating an effort to exchange clinical information with another practice can be a daunting task. We recommend starting small and working with a familiar practice as a test bed prior to expanding your exchange with multiple physicians."Massachusetts Implementation and Optimization Organization Specialists in partnership with the Massachusetts eHealth Institute

There are several benefits to a patient around the continuity of care when their healthcare information can be shared between multiple providers. However, for the full potential of this exchange to be realized, both technical and change management challenges must first be addressed. Providers should consider partnering with another practice within their region to tackle the requirement of sharing information together - so that the processes and trust can be developed on a small scale before expanding.

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

Care Coordination

View

 

Toolkit to assist in the coordination of care at the practice, community, and state level.

Medical Home Portal

Health Information Technology Toolkit for Physician Offices

View

 

Toolkit that helps healthcare organizations assess their readiness, plan, select, implement, make effective use of, and exchange important information about clients.

Stratis Health

Systems Approach to Operational Redesign Workbook

Download

[PDF - 2.4 Mb]

Workbook to assist in examining current office processes, look at areas for improvement or change based on the transition from paper to computer, and to implement these changes in an office.

MassPro

Evaluation Toolkit Health Information Exchange Projects

Download

[PDF - 488 kb]

Toolkit targeted towards health information exchange (HIE) projects to aid the process of creating an evaluation plan.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

Sharing Lab Results with another Provider (HIE scenario, workflow, and specifications)

Download

[DOCX - 1.2 MB]

A series of health information exchange (HIE ) scenarios intended to provide a straightforward view into the standards, services and policies behind HIE solutions related to this Meaningful Use Measure.

 

ONC Office of Science and Technology

Checklist for Capability to Exchange Key Clinical Information

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[DOCX - 949 kb]

Checklist that includes steps to test the capability to exchange key clinical information, perform the test, document test completion, and test EP's ability to receive and display a Continuity of Care Document/Continuity of Care Record (CCD/CCR).

 

Health Information Technology Research Center (HITRC)

Sending a Virtual Consultation Summary to another Physician (HIE scenario, workflow, and specifications)

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[PDF - 787 kb]

A series of health information exchange (HIE) scenarios intended to provide a straightforward view into the standards, services and policies behind HIE solutions related to this Meaningful Use Measure.

 

ONC Office of Science and Technology

Specialist sends DICOM File to another Provider (HIE scenario, workflow, and specifications)

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[PDF - 914 kb]

A series of health information exchange (HIE) scenarios intended to provide a straightforward view into the standards, services and policies behind HIE solutions related to this Meaningful Use Measure.

 

ONC Office of Science and Technology

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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Last updated: Wednesday, January 8, 2014