What is Meaningful Use?

Meaningful use establishes basic standards for healthcare providers using electronic health records (EHR) and is projected to greatly improve the quality of patient care in the United States. It measures quality by looking at safety, efficiency, patient engagement, improvements in care coordination, reduction in health disparities and maintenance of privacy and security of health information.

Meeting the criteria for meaningful use of EHRs is intended to bring about better clinical outcomes, increased transparency and provide more complete research data concerning health systems.

Under the U.S. Healthcare Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), healthcare providers have incentives to reach milestones implementing meaningful use, while potential penalties are imposed if milestones are not met.

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