Meaningful Use Knowledge Center

Industry "Buzzwords"

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 and Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act)

This act was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009 and encompasses the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act). The HITECH Act objective is to provide reimbursement incentives for eligible professionals and hospitals who can demonstrate the meaningful use of electronic health records (EHR); to establish standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for EHRs; protecting privacy and security of health information.


Clinical Decision Support

In the notice of proposed rule making (NPRM) for the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program, CMS proposes clinical decision support to be defined as health information technology functionality that builds upon the foundation of an EHR to provide persons involved in care processes with general and person specific information, intelligently filtered and organized, at appropriate times, to enhance health and health care.


Clinical Quality Measures

Clinical Quality Measures are defined in the CMS NPRM for the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program to consist of measures of processes, experience, and/or outcomes of patient care, observations or treatment that relate to one or more quality aims for health care such as effective, safe, efficient, patient centered, equitable, and timely care.


Complete EHR

A Complete EHR is EHR technology that meets all applicable certification criteria for meaningful.


Continuity of Care Document (CCD)

CCD is a standard created by HL7 Clinical Document Architecture for the use of exchanging patient health summary records and contains data that is defined by ASTM Continuity of Care Record (CCR).


Continuity of Care Record (CCR)

The ASTM Continuity of Care Record is a standard specification developed for the electronic sharing of patient health summary records.


Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs)

CAHs are described in detail according to the proposed ruling by CMS on our Meaningful Use home page. Click here to read more.


EHR Modules

An EHR Module is any service, component, or combination of modules that meets at least one of the certification criterion for meaningful use.


Electronic Health Record (EHR)

The definition of an EHR according to the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is a longitudinal electronic record of patient health information generated by one or more encounters in any care delivery setting. Included in this information are patient demographics, progress notes, problems, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data and radiology reports. The EHR automates and streamlines the clinician's workflow. The EHR has the ability to generate a complete record of a clinical patient encounter - as well as supporting other care-related activities directly or indirectly via interface - including evidence-based decision support, quality management, and outcomes reporting.


Certified EHR

Certified EHR Technology means a Complete EHR or a combination of EHR modules that meets the requirements indicated in the IFR for the initial set of standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for electronic health record Technology, and has been tested and certified in accordance with the certification program established by the National Coordinator as having met all applicable certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of HHS. Note that the notice for proposed rulemaking for organizations to conduct certification of EHR technology has not been released.


Eligible Hospitals

Eligible hospitals are described in detail according to the proposed ruling by CMS on our Meaningful Use home page. Click here to read more.


Eligible Professionals (EPs)

EPs are described in detail according to the proposed ruling by CMS on our Meaningful Use home page. Click here to read more.


Health Information Exchange (HIE)

As defined by HIMSS, Health Information Exchange (HIE) is commonly used interchangeably with RHIO. Typically, an HIE is a project or initiative focused around electronic data exchange between two or more organizations or stakeholders. These parties have agreed upon use of common technology and applied standards to support participation in the specific HIE initiative. The central purpose of a typical HIE is to foster the electronic exchange of health-related information between these parties. This exchange may include clinical, administrative, and financial data across a medical and or business trading area. HIEs may or may not be represented through a legal business entity or a formal business agreement between the participating parties.


Health Information Technical Policy Committee

One of two committees developed through the ARRA responsible for advising the National Coordinator on the creation of national standards and certification criteria for certified EHR technology and the demonstration of meaningful use.


Health Information Technology Standards Committee

One of two committees developed through the ARRA responsible for advising the National Coordinator on the creation of national standards and certification criteria for certified EHR technology and the demonstration of meaningful use.


Interim Final Rule (IFR)

An interim final rule adds, changes, or deletes regulatory text and contains a request for comments. The subsequent final rule may make changes to the text of the interim final rule.


Interoperability

The definition of interoperability according to the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) as it applies to the health care industry, interoperability means the ability of health information systems to work together within and across organizational boundaries in order to advance the effective delivery of healthcare for individuals and communities.


Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC)

The purpose of LOINC® is to facilitate the exchange and pooling of clinical results for clinical care, outcomes management, and research by providing a set of universal codes and names to identify laboratory and other clinical observations.


Meaningful EHR User

CMS has provided the proposed definitions for an eligible professional or hospital who demonstrates the usage of an EHR according to the objectives set forth in the rulemaking. Congress indicates three overarching requirements: use of a certified EHR in a meaningful manner; the EHR is connected to allow for the electronic exchange of health information for improving the quality of patient care; and the submission of clinical quality measures.


Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM)

An NPRM is a proposed rule which must be put forth before a final rule can be published. It represents the plan or intention for the rule and solicits public comment. After the public comments are reviewed, and any modifications to the proposed rule are made, a final rule is then published. The final rule is then codified in the Code of Federal Regulations.


Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC or ONCHIT)

ONC is the primary Federal entity responsible for coordinating the nationwide efforts to implement and use health information technology and to promote the electronic exchange of health information. ONC is formally a part of the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The National Coordinator position was created in 2004 through an Executive Order, and then followed by a legislative mandate in 2009 as part of the HITECH Act. The National Coordinator position is held by David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P.


Stage 1

Stage 1 is the criteria documented in the IFR that begins in 2011 and 2012, and continues to be applicable for all payment years until update by future rule making. Stage 1 criteria can be reviewed in depth within the Meaningful Stage 1 Criteria section of our website.


Stage 2

Stage 2 criteria are an expanded set of goals for meaningful use to apply in 2013 and 2014. The criteria are to be proposed for rulemaking by end of 2011.


Stage 3

Stage 3 criteria are an expanded set of goals for meaningful use to apply in 2015. The criteria are to be proposed for rulemaking by end of 2013.


Structured Data

Structured data are data that have specified data type and response categories within an electronic record or file. Structured data allows for the retrieval and exchange of data to be accurate.