The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) has once again identified the meaningful and secure exchange and use of electronic health information as one of the 10 biggest management and performance challenges facing HHS in the coming year, according to its latest report.
Meaningful Use is supposed be, well, meaningful.
But sometimes what's good in theory doesn't translate very well in practice.
Here's a personal example.
I recently injured my foot, necessitating a trip to the orthopedist. It turns out that the practice transitioned from paper records to an electronic health record system since my last visit. The office still relied on paper intake forms, which is not unusual.
However, I was surprised to see on the form, a question as to whether or not I used tobacco (the answer is no). After all, smoking is not ordinarily related to orthopedic injuries. On the next line, the form explains that the reason the practice is now asking this question is "for Meaningful Use."
I was intrigued, so I asked the employee at the front desk handling patient intake what the question meant and what Meaningful Use is.
She had no idea. Read more...
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