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Step 5: Achieve Meaningful Use Stage 2

Clinical Summaries

Objective:

Provide clinical summaries for patients for each office visit.

Measure:

Clinical summaries provided to patients or patient-authorized representatives within one business day for more than 50 percent of office visits.

Changes from Meaningful Use Stage 1:

 Stage 1Stage 2
Objective Provide clinical summaries for patients for each office visit Provide clinical summaries for patients for each office visit
Measure Clinical summaries provided to patients for more than 50% of all office visits within 3 business days Clinical summaries provided to patients within one business day for more than 50% of office visits

Clinical Importance:

The Clinical Summary-- which includes basic clinical information regarding the care provided, such as medications, upcoming appointments, or other instructions-- affords better communication around pertinent health information. The clinical summary is shared with both patients and family members to increase awareness of what occurred during office visits and can be used to assist in care coordination.

CMS Resources:

The following resources are available to help you meet the Clinical Summaries meaningful use core measure:

CMS EHR Incentive Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Lessons from the field:

A good way to reduce the number of follow-up phone calls received by the practice is to utilize the clinical summary. Go through the summary with the patient and ensure they have a solid understanding of the information prior to them leaving their appointment.” - James Weiss, MD, PHMG Case Study , Viewing Patients as Partners: Patient Portal Implementation and Adoption

The clinical summary is designed to be given to patients at the end of an office medical visit as a summary of what happened during the visit and to provide information and instructions to guide their next health care steps. Providers can deliver the summary through an EHR patient portal, secure e-mail, electronic media (such as a CD or USB flash drive), or as a printed copy. Although the clinical summary should be available electronically, there is real value in providing the patient with a printed copy as a way to communicate important information at the end of the office visit. The provider can reinforce the importance of the summary itself and explain key pieces of information, such as special medication instructions or necessary follow-up care. Patients are more likely to perceive the value of the summary if it is acknowledged and addressed during the office visit. The clinical summary is also valuable to families members so they can easily stay informed and engaged in the patient’s care.

 

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