• Print

EHR Incentives & Certification

Meaningful Use Definition & Objectives

Meaningful Use Defined

Meaningful use is using certified electronic health record (EHR) technology to:

  • Improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities
  • Engage patients and family
  • Improve care coordination, and population and public health
  • Maintain privacy and security of patient health information

Ultimately, it is hoped that the meaningful use compliance will result in:

  • Better clinical outcomes
  • Improved population health outcomes
  • Increased transparency and efficiency
  • Empowered individuals
  • More robust research data on health systems

Meaningful use sets specific objectives that eligible professionals (EPs) and hospitals must achieve to qualify for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Incentive Programs.

Stages of Meaningful Use

These objectives will evolve in three stages over the next five years:

  1. 2011-2012

    Stage 1

    Data capture and sharing

  2. 2014

    Stage 2

    Advance clinical processes

  3. 2016

    Stage 3

    Improved outcomes

Stage 1 EHR Meaningful Use Specification Sheets
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which administers the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, provides these sheets to help professionals and hospitals understand the requirements of each objective and demonstrate meaningful use successfully.