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Step 5: Achieve Meaningful Use Stage 1

Drug Interaction Checks


Implement drug-drug and drug-allergy interaction checks.


The eligible professional has enabled this functionality for the entire EHR reporting period.

Clinical Importance

Certified EHRs with the drug interaction checks enabled gives real-time information on possible interactions at the time of ordering, minimizing the potential for adverse events or pharmacy call-backs. With many patients taking nutritional supplements, having medications provided from multiple providers, or allergies to certain medications – having a drug interaction check provides better clinical decisions by displaying alerts on drug-allergy, drug-frequency, drug-drug, drug-renal function, drug-laboratory, and drug-age which can improve the safety and effectiveness of medication.

CMS Resources

The following resources are available to help you meet the Drug Interaction Checks meaningful use core measure:

Related CMS EHR Incentive Program Frequently Asked Questions

Lessons from the Field

"For medication lists, it is important for providers to understand the benefits and purpose for maintaining a current list, beyond meeting a meaningful use requirement. If a provider knows the medication list affects the contraindication alerts and understands that there is only a need to reconcile against what is listed if up-to-date, providers understand the importance and follow through."

— Peter Minio, HIT Practice Coordinator, Quality Insights of Delaware

It is important to understand that an active medication list drives key functions such as drug-drug and drug-allergy interactions, various clinical quality measures as well as provides for the ability to query patients based on current medications for recall purposes. Field staff have observed that this understanding can be a key motivator to maintain active medications in a structured format.

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

Clinical Decision Support Systems Studies



Summary of PubMed articles specific to clinical decision support system implementation, case studies, and best practices.


Electronic Preventative Services Selector (ePSS)


Tool designed to help primary care clinicians identify the screening, counseling, and preventive medication services that are appropriate for their patients.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

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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