Now that we know from where did Meaningful Use originate, let’s get little deeper on what it’s stages.
Meaningful Use (MU) program for Medicare has been divided into three stages. Each stage builds on the previous one, to expand electronic health records (EHR) usage to an increasingly larger patient population with a wider range of healthcare processes.
- MU Stage 1 is all about data capturing and sharing,
- MU Stage 2 focuses on advanced clinical processes and lastly
- MU Stage 3 aims at improving outcomes.
EHR users can earn various incentive payments by meeting the criteria for the three stages of MU over coming years. While stage 1 and stage 2 is underway, stage 3 is currently being adopted.
Stage 1 was announced in 2010. It concentrates on EHR data capturing and sharing. Healthcare providers were required to focus on storing health information electronically in a standardized format that makes it easy to access for authorized providers and patients. It focused on tracking clinical conditions, using EHR to better coordinate care, utilizing information to be able to evaluate and report clinical quality and public health information, and using EHR to better involve patients in their own healthcare.
Stage 2 began in 2014 and broadens the use of EHR software for health information exchange among providers. It features further integration for e-prescribing and lab results as well as more extensive sharing of patients care summaries. Patients were encouraged to become active in their care.
Stage 3 started in 2016, was optional till 2017 and is mandatory for all participants in 2018. It takes the advancing clinical EHR practices of Stage 2 and perfects them. The goal is to improve the quality of health information exchange, which will lead to improved health for patients on a large-scale. The access to comprehensive patient data will be efficient and easy for providers. The goal of Stage 3 will be a more collated information network, from lab reports to immunization information.