Achieving Meaningful Use
Achieving meaningful use is an important stepping stone to establishing a continuous quality improvement process and improving organizational efficiency, health care quality, and patient outcomes. The meaningful use objectives will evolve in three stages:
- Stage 1 (2011-2012): Data capture and sharing
- Stage 2 (2014): Advanced clinical processes
- Stage 3 (2016): Improved outcomes
By achieving meaningful use, your organization can access and analyze data to help measure and improve health care quality and patient outcomes.
Continuous Quality Improvement
- Choose and use a model for quality improvement: You can use the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Strategies to Optimize your Practice [PDF - 1.7 MB] primer to learn more about different CQI strategies.
- Establish metrics to evaluate quality improvement efforts and outcomes: You should establish metrics to monitor and evaluate the success of your quality improvement efforts. Remember to begin with a clear vision of the desired future state.
- Ensure all staff members understand the metrics for success: You may need to train your staff or perform pilot tests of certain metrics to ensure everyone in your organization understands and buys-in to your quality improvement metrics.
- Involve patients, families, providers, and care team members in quality improvement activities: Involving everyone in your quality improvement process will improve buy-in across your organization.
- Optimize your EHR and achieve meaningful use: You should focus on understanding the structures (technology and people) and processes that will ultimately lead to your organization’s future state.
CQI is a complex process, and these are just the basics. The Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Strategies to Optimize your Practice [PDF - 1.7 MB] primer will help you learn more about CQI, the leading CQI strategies in health care, and how to choose a CQI strategy.
For More Information
For more information on quality improvement and how you can use EHRs to improve health care quality, see the following resources.
- Wagner EH, Coleman K, Reid RJ, Phillips K, Abrams MK, Sugarman JR. “The changes involved in patient-centered medical home transformation.” Prim Care. 2012.