The Pediatric & Adolescent Center in Milton, DE faced several challenges that they were able to successfully overcome on the road to Stage 1 Meaningful Use (MU). First, the Center’s providers were not getting credit for some MU outcomes that the practice had already achieved related to issues such as patient education and smoking status. Second, the practice’s vendor faced difficulty configuring an interface with the Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) to allow the Center to report to the state immunization registry.
To address the issue with the MU measures, the Center took a two-pronged approach. Within the EHR, the Center changed its protocols to include ARRA measures, ensuring that the provider received credit for the measure. Successfully using these new protocols also required some changes in the exam room establishing routines to ensure that providers captured every measure for the EHR. The Center held regular meetings to apprise everyone on their progress achieving these goals and to provide support where needed.
For the challenge faced with the Immunization Registry, the Center fostered a direct connection between its vendor and DHIN. Working collaboratively, the HER vendor and DHIN were able to successfully connect the system, and in the process, reduce the Center's immunization process time by 50 percent.
Preparation and planning ahead are crucial. According to Brandy Little, RN, "Since some of the measures are more difficult to meet or get proper credit for, it is important to meet each measure as early as possible to give enough time to correct mistakes or find new solutions."
Shawna McNamara, Office Manager for the Center, is very appreciative for the support the practice received from QIDE Regional Extension Center "When we were first presented with Meaningful Use the task was extremely overwhelming," said McNamara. "Working closely with Robin (Senft) from Quality Insights made the process attainable. Her knowledge and ability to explain why each measure was necessary gave our staff the momentum to keep pushing ahead."