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Step 5: Achieve Meaningful Use Stage 1

Patient Reminders


Send reminders to patients per patient preference for preventive/follow-up care.


More than 20 percent of all patients 65 years or older or 5 years old or younger were sent an appropriate reminder during the EHR reporting period.

Clinical Importance

Patient reminders can be established within EHR systems to assist practices in managing their patient population.  Practices can remind patients about upcoming appointments, preventative care needs such as cancer screenings, or flu shots, as an example. By managing their patient populations, practices are better able to improve the health and health care of their patients.

CMS Resources

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

Related CMS EHR Incentive Program Frequently Asked Questions

Lessons from the Field

 "I recently worked with a practice that was not yet ready for their patient portal. The meaningful use patient reminder menu objective created an opportunity to reach out to patients to schedule their health maintenance appointments. We used the EHR to create custom reports to send reminders to patients. The recall and alert functionalities that are built into the EHR made the process simple and effective."

— Nancy Fennell, Practice Consultant, Regional Extension Center of New Hampshire (RECNH) 

To ensure that patients are monitored for health maintenance exams when access to a patient portal is not yet feasible, practice staff work with their EHR vendor to generate custom reports that identify patients who have not had physicals within the last year. These reports are run once a month by the practice's office manager and reminders are then mailed out to patients. Although statistics are not yet available, the practice has seen a noticeable volume increase in annual exams.

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

Communicating with Patients Electronically


[PDF - 163k] 

Guide for establishing practice policies and procedures for electronic communication with patients.

Center for Practice Improvement and Innovation, American College of Physicians (ACP)

Pediatric Rules and Reminders



Downloadable pediatric rules and reminders for the ambulatory environment to serve as examples of reminders that can be integrated into EHR systems and modified to fit the needs of the practice.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

Sending a Patient Reminder (HIE scenario, workflow, and specifications)


[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

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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