Feature | April 28, 2009

HIMSS Publishes Its Definitions of "Meaningful Use"

April 28, 2009 – This week HIMSS published its definitions of ‘meaningful use of certified EHR technologies,’ as outlined in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

In summary, HIMSS recommends the following:

- To ensure continuity, recognize CCHIT as the certifying body of EHRs.

- To achieve incremental maturation of “meaningful use,” adopt metrics that can be reasonably captured and reported beginning in FY11/2011,* and then made increasingly stringent using intervals of not less than two years. HIMSS’ definitions include specific metrics to enact, in phases, over a multi-year period. (*ARRA requires the hospital-focused definition to be effective FY11 [Oct. 1, 2010]. For meaningful users (physicians), the definition must be effective Jan. 1, 2011.)

- To bridge existing gaps in interoperability of health information, coordinate with HITSP and IHE to create new harmonized standards and implementation guides.

- Reconcile the gap between “certified EHR technologies,” “best of breed,” and “open source” technologies.

Approved by the HIMSS Board of Directors, the definitions resulted from consensus-building effort with input from HIMSS members (73 percent of which work in end-user settings) and the public at-large, according to HIMSS.

For more information: www.himss.org

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