Using meaningful use 2 provisions to enhance transparency

The specific federal requirements instituted to ensure the meaningful use of healthcare IT are heavily debated and complex, with many professionals on all sides of the matter forming their own opinion on the finer details. But, according to Information Week senior writer Marianne Kolbasuk McGee, the criteria established under meaningful use 2 will serve to enhance care by increasing the degree of engagement between healthcare providers and their patients.

As McGee points out, oftentimes when a physician has to present a patient with bad news, the patient may be so stunned by the revelation that the entirety of the physician's message is not processed.

Under the provisions of meaningful use 2 though, this problem could be addressed by providing patients with a digestible picture of their diagnoses quickly so they fully understand the clinical issues they'll need to face.

For example, meaningful use 2 protocols would require medical facilities to provide clinical summaries for 50 percent of patients within just one day of the initial visit, providing valuable information of a patient's test results and procedures. Other provisions would require healthcare providers to transmit important clinical data to 10 percent of patients using secure electronic messaging.

Interestingly, McGee mentions that "as more patients are granted access to their information, they also need to be made aware that this information is available."

In order to generate this necessary patient awareness, small medical facility managers looking to adhere to meaningful use 2 criteria would benefit from deploying a medical technology consulting firm. These professionals can make sure that a facility's electronic medical records software provides a full picture of patients' clinical history, and that staff understand how to utilize the software to increase transparency and provide patients with fast, simple and accurate summaries of their visits.

Microwize Technology is a leading healthcare IT consultant offering products such as electronic medical records software and medical billing software from top providers like Allscripts and McKesson, including McKesson's Medisoft, Lytec and Practice Choice products.