"Meaningful use" is the term that is written in the ARRA legislation to define investments eligible for reimbursement. More specifically the product or service must demonstrate use of a "qualified EHR" in a "meaningful manner." But this definition is not settled and the process for certification of these products and services as compliant with the definition is not final.
"This definition [meaningful use] will be a major factor in how innovative the EHR systems can be" said Vince Kuratis President of Better Health Technologies. "If it is too narrow the EHR systems that become eligible for subsidizations may lack leading edge interoperability with a limited capability to serve as a platform for new and transformative applications of the EHR data. This outcome would be the equivalent of manufacturing a 2002 Chevy Suburban for today's car market." Kuratis is one of a growing number of proponents of a multipurpose EHR that will empower patients to be their own advocates and as an EHR that serves doctors to improve a patient's healthcare. Further, anonymized EHRs can be elements of large data sets unidentifiable to any person, which can be analyzed to improve healthcare investments and support better epidemiological decisions. They want the definition to allow younger disruptive Health 2.0 companies that have novel applications of the EHR platforms to be eligible for generous amounts of the stimulus money.
Must read for anyone building an EMR, EHR, PHR platform.
From "Health 2.0 Meets Government Stimulus - Network World."