To complete Stage I of the EHR incentive program, eligible professionals have to meet meaningful use criteria. These include 15 core and a further 5 out of a menu of 10 objectives, along with 6 Clinical Quality Measures. One such menu objective is patient reminders for preventive or follow up care.
This objective aims to help practices set up reminders for patients, enabling them to better manage their health. Doctors can remind patients of appointments and follow up visits. They can also use reminders for preventive care requisites such as vaccinations, flu shots and screening tests for cancer, diabetes or other chronic ailments.
The denominator for this measure is the total number of patients who are 65 years or older and all the patients who are 5 years old or younger. Doctors are allowed to limit this number to only those patients who have their records maintained in the EHR, although it is not required. The numerator is the number of patients out of the total mentioned in the denominator, who have been sent the appropriate reminders. The resulting percentage must be 20 or more.
Physicians are free to decide the number of reminders as well as the medium of communications. They may be sent through mail, text messages or electronic means as long as it meets the requirements of the HIPAA Rule and any other government regulation that might apply.
Certified EHRs are able to generate reminder lists of patients who need preventive or follow up care according to their preference. They should also be able to generate an electronic report with the numerator, denominator and percentage measure. The criteria for selecting patients should be based on the following:
1. Demographic data such as age, gender, disabilities, ethnicity etc
2. Past and present health problems or ailments
3. Medications and any allergies to specific drugs, if any
4. Results of any prescribed laboratory tests, if applicable
The EHR incentive program serves to accelerate adoption by clinics of reminders that enable patients to be informed and engaged in managing their health care. Reminders also allow doctors to provide better health care services to their patient population.
Dovetail, ONC certified soon!
In the next few weeks, Dovetail will be 100% certified as a complete Electronic Health Record (EHR) system under the ONC HIT Certification Program*. Dovetail will then become eligible to be used for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) EHR Incentive Programs, allowing dental professionals to demonstrate the adoption, implementation and demonstration of the meaningful use of a certified EHR technology. Stay tuned for additional information or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.