Meaningful Use set to go mobile

With the release of the final Stage 2 Meaningful Use rule, it's time to look toward Stage 3 of the government's health IT incentive program. And that means shifting focus to mobile technologies that will help providers prepare for an increased emphasis on patient engagement in and access to their own health data.

Earlier this month, Farzad Mostashari, M.D., the National Coordinator for Health IT, reaffirmed that, when it comes to Meaningful Use requirements, mobile technology is more than just fun and games. Mobile devices, he said, will serve a key role in healthcare delivery and in the future success of the Meaningful Use program, mHIMSS recently reported

"Mostashari stressed the role of the certification process and the modular approach to certification to assist small businesses with providing IT solutions upon which providers can rely," the article notes.

In an interview with FierceMobileHealthcare last year, former CMIO for Minneapolis-based Hennepin County Medical Center Kevin Larsen, now the medical director of Meaningful Use at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, proved his then-organization was well ahead of the mobile Meaningful Use curve when he talked about how mHealth can ease access to data and help organizations improve quality, safety and efficiency.

For example, Larsen noted, e-prescribing can help improve quality, safety and efficiency. And mobile tech such as smartphone and tablet apps will make it easier for physicians to prescribe online and keep electronic tabs on potential medication interactions and allergies.

And keeping data updated, such as maintaining an active problem lists and recording vital signs, either at the bedside or via remote monitoring, allows clinicians to update patients medical records in real- or near real-time, Larsen noted.

Mobile technologies also can engage patients and their families. There are just so many ways to make health data more user-friendly: Text messaging, email and smartphone apps--even patient portals that are accessible via mobile devices.

So tell me, how will your organization use mobile technologies to meet current and future stages of Meaningful Use? - Gienna (@Gienna)

Editor's note: if you'd like to learn more about how to incorporate mobile technologies into your Meaningful Use efforts, please join FierceHealthIT for a webinar on mHealth's role in meeting Meaningful Use requirements on September 26.