Blumenthal: Meaningful use must result in quality improvement, more time at bedside, less duplication

HHS' definition of meaningful use will include an organization's ability to use health IT to improve quality and "inform clinical decisions at the point of care," David Blumenthal, national coordinator for health information technology, wrote in an Oct. 1 letter to the industry.

CMS is expected to publish its formal definition of meaningful use by the end of the year. Expect it to require providers to use HIT to "reduce the amount of time spent on duplicative paperwork" so they can spend more time with patients, Blumenthal wrote.

"The concept of meaningful use is simple and inspiring, but we recognize that it becomes significantly more complex at a policy and regulatory level," he added. "As a result, we expect that any formal definition of 'meaningful use' must include specific activities healthcare providers need to undertake to qualify for incentives from the federal government."