• Informatics
  • Meaningful Use

  • What is meaningful use?

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    Meaningful use is a health information technology (HIT) initiative put forth by the federal government in order to encourage the standardization of electronic health records (EHR) by physicians. With the widespread use of EHRs, physicians can improve patient care while receiving incentives for their practice, reducing errors in data, facilitating the transfer of records and data and sending out e-reminders.

    What does it mean for my practice?

    Through the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), the federal government will make available incentive payments totaling up to $27 billion over 10 years. Eligible professionals can receive up to $44,000 over five years through Medicare, and $63,750 through Medicaid over the six years that they choose.

     To qualify for incentive payments, meaningful use requirements must be met in the following ways:

    • Medicare EHR Incentive Program: Eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must successfully demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record technology every year they participate in the program.
    • Medicaid EHR Incentive Program: Eligible professionals and eligible hospitals may qualify for incentive payments if they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use in their first year of participation. They must successfully demonstrate meaningful use for subsequent participation years.
    • Adopted: Acquired and installed certified EHR technology. (For example, can show evidence of installation.) 
    • Implemented: Began using certified EHR technology. (For example, provide staff training or data entry of patient demographic information into EHR.)
    • Upgraded: Expanded existing technology to meet certification requirements. (For example, upgrade to certified EHR technology or add new functionality to meet the definition of certified EHR technology.)

    How can RSNA help me achieve meaningful use goals?

    RSNA informatics solutions and initiatives are designed to make the EHR adoption process easier on you: 

    • Purchasing products that comply with IHE standards ensures that your systems, software and devices can better "talk" to one another and transmit data directly or indirectly to EHRs with minimal human error.
    •  RSNA's MIRC solutions help you easily import data and securely transfer it across institutions—to use for teaching files or clinical trials.
    • myRSNA® helps you create a seamless workspace that can save you and your institution time and resources and overcome firewall challenges.
    • RadLex is a standardized vocabulary of medical imaging terminology that's automatically recognized and retrieved by EHRs.
    • Downloadable reporting templates enable better-organized radiology reports that allow data to flow easily into an EHR.