Family Physician at Primary Health Medical Group is First in Idaho to Successfully Attest to Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records
Boise, August 9, 2011 – Primary Health Medical Group, a multi-specialty medical practice in the Treasure Valley, has become the first health care organization in the state of Idaho to have a physician attest to Meaningful Use. James Weiss, MD, a Family Physician at the Primary Health Medical Group Meridian Clinic has achieved the criteria set forth under Meaningful Use by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the HITECH Act. This means that the health care provider is actively using electronic health records to improve patient care and can accurately report on health related achievements.
President Obama signed the HITECH Act in February 2009 to encourage physicians and hospital providers to utilize electronic health records in a “Meaningful Way”. One of the many goals of the Act was to get health care providers reporting data in the same format so that it could be compared and analyzed to create standards for patient care and treatment plans. In order to qualify for Meaningful Use, health care providers must meet a specific set of criteria for 90 consecutive days on a certified electronic health records system. Dr. Weiss achieved the criteria and completed the process on August 9, 2011, becoming the first provider in the State of Idaho to attest to Meaningful Use.
“I’m happy to incorporate the Meaningful Use guidelines in my practice,” stated James Weiss, MD. “I believe demonstrating our effective use of electronic health records is vital to promoting cost-effective 21st century medicine. I would never dream of going back to paper charts now that I use the electronic health record. My patients love the fact that I am connected electronically to their pharmacies, their hospital records, and their personal email if they wish to set up the secure messaging system. I would encourage every physician in the United States to adopt an electronic health record and meet the Meaningful Use standards.”
“The criteria outlined in Meaningful Use is directly related to improved patient care,” said David Peterman, MD, President of Primary Health Medical Group. “Our electronic health records system has increased access for patients and improved our ability to evaluate patient care. There is less room for errors with tools such as ePrescriptions, printed information after the visit, and a single source of information. Patients can access their health records from their living rooms – even send and receive secure emails from their doctor if they have questions. The opportunities being presented to patients to take control of their health are quite remarkable.”
Primary Health Medical Group implemented eClinicalWorks electronic health records in all clinics in 2007. With the conversion to paperless electronic health records, every Primary Health patient now has one electronic chart accessible in all 11 locations. Health care providers can easily review patient histories, medications, allergies, lab work and more to provide consistent health care. The number of steps for the coordination of patient care and possibility for errors were reduced with electronic prescribing, interfaces for lab tests and radiology, and tracking of referrals. The medical group looks to have all physicians in the group attest to Meaningful Use before the end of 2011.
“Congratulations to Dr. Weiss and Primary Health Medical Group on being the first practice in the State of Idaho to attest and certify Meaningful Use of their electronic health records system,” said Peggy Evans, PhD, CPHIT, Director of the Washington and Idaho Regional Extension Center (WIREC). WIREC, a program of Qualis Health, provides vendor-neutral Electronic Health Records adoption and utilization health IT consulting services, which includes guidance to health care professionals to help them achieve Meaningful Use. “Meeting the Meaningful Use criteria shows that Primary Health has fully integrated Electronic Health Records into the practice and they are using the tool in significant ways leading to better quality – and quantifiable – patient care.”
Boise-based Primary Health Medical Group is a multi-specialty medical group that was created by physicians who have practiced in Idaho for more than twenty years. The group sees over 200,000 patient visits a year through 11 clinics located in Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, and Caldwell. The majority of the clinics offer appointment family practice and urgent care services and are staffed by family practitioners, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. The group also has physicians in pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, dermatology, occupational medicine, sports medicine, and ear, nose, and throat. Learn more about Primary Health Medical Group at www.primaryhealth.com.