The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) already is busy working on the rules to implement Stage 3 of the Meaningful Use incentive program, even though the rules implementing Stage 2 have yet to be finalized.
The Meaningful Use Workgroup Subgroup on Improving Quality held a planning meeting June 19 to address the Stage 3 goals of improving quality, safety, and efficiency, as well as reducing health disparities. Some of the concepts addressed included aligning with emerging payment, supporting population health, and tools to assist interaction with patients "that may be a bit more difficult" according to the meeting materials.
In addition, several of ONC's federal advisory workgroups held hearings earlier this month to identify ways that Stage 3 of Meaningful Use may advance the delivery of quality care in diverse settings and to explore how patient-generated health data (PGHD) might be incorporated into Meaningful Use for Stage 3, according to posts on ONC's Federal Advisory Committee Blogs. The workgroups specifically are reaching out for input on these topics, posing questions including:
- How can we best leverage EHRs to support quality improvement (QI) and accelerate the QI work of providers and organizations under the meaningful use program?
- How can we improve the availability of "small data"--the data that providers and patients can use in real time to improve their decision making and improve quality?
- How do we build and deploy "plug and play" clinical quality and decision support functionality in EHRs and data systems?
- How can we ensure that patients' reports of symptoms and their knowledge of their own contraindications make their way into EHRs?
- In order to manage the legal, policy, and operational issues associated with provider collection of PGHD, what should individual providers do to ensure they have a plan for managing that data?
- How can collection of PGHD address health disparities and what cautions exist to ensure that disparities are not widened?
The Federal Advisory Committees on Meaningful Use, the HIT Policy Committee and the HIT Standards Committee, both were created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act--the same law that created the incentive program--to assist and advise ONC on health IT.