A New Spin on "Meaningful Use" Definitions - What is a "Meaningful User?"

A formal definition of “meaningful use” of electronic health records is in the works and should be released in the not-too-distant future, Charles Friedman, deputy national coordinator of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, said at a health IT conference.

Meaningful use is significant in that it “changes the focus from technology potential to ways in which clinicians actually use” electronic health records, Friedman said during the Government Health IT conference and exhibition, sponsored by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. It’s also a key mechanism to trigger payment incentives for those using the technology.

In Friedman’s definition, a “meaningful user” is someone who uses a certified electronic health record, exchanges health information, and reports on quality measures.

As people who are patients, what embodies being a 'meaningful user' of EHRs or PHRs?

1. Someone who uses a personal health record (certified? does it matter?)
2. Someone who exchanges health and wellness information with the record/platform.
3. Someone who utilizes the record in his/her personal care continuum.


1. In a 'meaningful user' definition, does matter if you share your personal health record data with your doctor? What if you choose not to do so? (I can hear the grumbles now..."then it's useless.")

If 'meaningful use' on the patient side DOES include the reciprocal flow of information for quality reporting and safety/efficacy/adherence analysis (i.e. sharing my subjective, personal health data with my doc) wouldn't the equivalent of 'meaningful use' for a certified EHR be a requirement that this EHR be available to patients for use and modification?

And how/where/to whom would patients *or patient advocates, or parent/guardians, or powers of attorney* report inaccuracies on an EHR designed for 'meaningful use?'

Rather than another acronym-riddled agency birthing, I'd like to see an organization like the Better Business Bureau established solely for the purpose of reporting LACK of meaningful use, which includes meaningful attentiveness to safety by incorporating patient additions and revisions to data.

Posted via web from Jen's Posterous

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