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Meaningful Use Stage 3 recommendations released for public comment

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The healthcare industry has a much better idea of what Stage 3 of Meaningful Use may look like, now that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's HIT Policy Committee has released a copy of its proposed recommendations for public comment.

The 38-page document, unveiled at the committee's meeting Nov. 7, recommends some of the percentage thresholds be increased and suggests several new objectives for stages beyond Stage 3. Some of the provisions new to Stage 3 include offering patients the capability to submit patient-generated information, and to request amendments to their records online, requiring electronic health records to receive, generate or access appropriate immunization recommendations, and requiring EHRs to be able to query other entities for outside records. 

The committee explained that to be considered for Stage 3, an objective should support new models of care, address national health priorities, have broad applicability, promote advancement, be achievable, and reflect the reasonableness/feasibility of EHR products. The committee prefers that standards for EHRs should be available if not widely adopted.

The committee also said that it recommends that "Stage 3 is the time to begin to transition from a setting-specific focus to a collaborative, patient- and family- centric approach."

ONC added several additional items for public comment, including questions on identity matching, transitions of care and the need for health IT safety risk assessments.   

The recommendations will be published in the Federal Register later this month; public comments will be accepted for 45 days after that date. 

The committee said that it will analyze the comments and hold further public meetings about Stage 3 in 2013 before formal rules are issued.

To learn more:
- listen to the meeting and read the materials
- here's where public comments are to be submitted

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