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Step 5: Achieve Meaningful Use Stage 1

Patient Electronic Access

Objective:

Provide patients with timely electronic access to their health information (including lab results, problem list, medication lists, and allergies) within 4 business days of the information being available to the eligible professional.

Measure:

At least 10 percent of all unique patients seen by the eligible professional are provided timely (available to the patient within four business days of being updated in the certified EHR technology) electronic access to their health information subject to the eligible professional's discretion to withhold certain information.

Changes as of August 2012:

In order to better align Stage 1 objectives with the new 2014 capabilities of Certified EHR Technology, CMS is replacing several Stage 1 objectives for providing electronic copies of and electronic access to health information with objectives to provide patients the ability to view, download, or transmit their health information or hospital admission information online. The capability to provide patients online access to this information will be a part of Certified EHR Technology beginning in 2014, therefore the new Stage 1 objectives will be required beginning in 2014.

The following current Stage 1 objectives will be replaced beginning in 2014:

EP Stage 1 Menu Objective: Provide patients with timely electronic access to their health information (including lab results, problem list, medication lists, and allergies) within 4 business days of the information being available to the EP.

New EP Objective: Provide patients the ability to view online, download and transmit their health information within 4 business days of the information being available to the EP.

New EP Measure: More than 50 percent of all unique patients seen by the EP during the EHR reporting period are provided timely (within 4 business days after the information is available to the EP) online access to their health information subject to the EP's discretion to withhold certain information.

Learn more about the Patient Ability to Electronically View, Download & Transmit (VDT) Health Information objective.

Clinical Importance

Patient’s access to key aspects of their EHR can improve his/her active involvement, improving care and increasing responsibility in their own health decisions. This access also affords family members or other health care providers information regarding medication refills, scheduling appointments, and patient education. Activating all members of the healthcare team, including family, improves care and safety.

CMS Resources

The following resource is available to help you meet the Patient Electronic Access meaningful use menu measure:

Related CMS EHR Incentive Program Frequently Asked Questions

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

Safety-Net Providers Bringing Patients Online: Lessons from Early Adopters

Download

[PDF - 609kb] 

Report that includes patient portal case study examples and lessons from early adopters.

California Healthcare Foundation

Sending Follow Up Instructions (HIE scenario, workflow, and specifications)

Download

[DOCX - 1.1 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

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)

Using e-Health Tools to Engage Patients and Caregivers

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[PDF - 219 KB]

Fact sheet outlining details and considerations for engaging patients on e-Health tools.

Health Information Technology Resource Center (HITRC)

Optimize Patient Portals for Patient Engagement

Download

[PDF - 113 KB]

Fact sheet outlining details and considerations for optimizing patient portals.

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.

Related CMS EHR Incentive Program Frequently Asked Questions

For additional questions around meaningful use, visit the CMS EHR Incentive Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

 

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