Meaningful Use for Nurses: Implications and Recommendations

Details:
Provide an overview of the Meaningful Use program and an analysis of the implications for nurses, nursing, national health policy, patient outcomes, and population health associated with the collection and use of Meaningful Use core criteria. Recommend additional core criteria not presently identified for Meaningful Use collection in Stages 1 or 2 (lists of criteria may be found at cms.gov) that you feel would be beneficial for nurses, nursing, monitoring population health, setting national health policies, and/or improvements in patient outcomes or population health, providing your evidence for your recommendations. If you feel that no additional criteria are necessary, provide your evidence-based rationale for your argument. Conclude with insights gained from this assignment. A minimum of three outside scholarly resources are required—texts may be cited but are NOT included among the minimum of three outside scholarly resources.

PREPARING THE PAPER
1. At least three sources within 5 years old must be from outside course readings.
2. All aspects of the paper must be in APA format as expressed in the 6th edition.
3. The paper (excluding the title page and reference page) is 5–7 pages in length.
4. Ideas and information from professional sources must be cited correctly.
5. Grammar, spelling, punctuation, and citations are consistent with formal academic writing.

Meaningful Use for Nurses: Implications and Recommendations

Introduction
The current governments in the USA have insisted in the use of electronic health records (EHRs) when providing financial incentives to service users. The nurses are included in the group required to adopt the system. The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics conducted a hearing on “meaningful use” of health information technology. The stakeholders who attended the hearing concluded that there was need to integrate the health information technology in healthcare industry, and that the use should include interoperability to support clinical decision and quality measures in health care. This paper evaluates the overview of meaningful use requirements, analysis, and the implications of MU. Lastly, the article explores MU recommendations on the evidence-based practice (Hess, 2014).
Overview of meaningful use
According to the institute of medicine, about 98,000 deaths in America are attributable to medication errors. Approximately 80% of medication errors are due to miscommunication. This has resulted to the establishment of a transformation that will account for care as well as better communication to improve clinical management of care, capture the relevant data, and establish relevant measures that will monitor quality and cost of care. This led to the establishment of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in 2004. The ONC was to ensure that the health information technology was integrated in the clinical health and establish the health information exchange. This marked the beginning of Meaningful Use of electronic system in recording of patient data with the aim of reducing cost of care and improving patient outcome and satisfaction (Scherb et al., 2013).
The Term: meaningful use” is used to define the extent of an organization or healthcare provider makes use of utilizes their electronic health records. According to American Recovery as well as Reinvestment Act (ARRA) meaningful use refers to the health facility ability to use certified EHR in a resourceful and meaningful manner, apply use certified EHR technology for exchange of patient information or submitting the clinical quality reports and measures with the aim of improving quality of care. The governments have established three main stages of meeting definition criteria of Meaningful use. The first stage is capturing of health data electronically. The second stage is expansion of stage 1 criteria, report the health data and to track relevant clinical issues. The third stage involves the improvement of safety, quality, and efficient use of health information technology to improve patient outcome. Meaningful use consists of core set complemented with a set of objectives that are eligible for hospitals as well as critical access hospitals as analyzed below (Green et al.,2015).
The use of EHR is becoming more rampant and research anticipates that their use will increase healthcare provider productivity, reduce redundant healthcare costs, and improve patient outcome and satisfaction. Some of the benefits of EHR include the ability to retrieve patient’s information with ease. This is particularly of importance when critically injured patients are brought to the hospital in absence of their relatives or friends. The use of electronic health records provides information about patients at their finger tips including patients medication use, health history and existing allergies. This helps reduce repetitive and unnecessary tests such as the MRIs, CT scans as well as laboratory tests because it is easier to track the patient easier outcomes making it easier to make constructive healthcare interventions (Scherb et al., 2013).
For eligible professional objectives, the health care providers are required to make regular checks for the drug administered. The healthcare professional should incorporate clinical lab results in EHR, generate patient list as of patients according to their specific conditions. This reduces disparities in the healthcare system through increased outreach. The professionals are required to provide patients with timely electronic records that have their health information. The healthcare professionals are expected to use EHR to locate the patient specific education or resources available for the patient. The eligible professional who gets patient through referrals, the eligible professional is expected to perform medication reconciliation using summary patient record, which must be submitted electronically (Green et al.,2015).
Analysis of MU
In stage 1, the eligible professions are expected to meet 13 core objectives as well as five menu objectives, whereas CAHs and eligible hospitals are expected to meet 11 required core objectives 5 menu objectives. In stage 2, the CMS published more requirements for eligible professionals and CAHs so that they can enjoy and participate in Medicaid and Medicare electronic health records. The healthcare providers must attain meaningful use in stage 1 before moving to stage 2. The specifications developed by CMS include how to calculate numerator and denominator thresholds, the exclusion criteria, and certification of information, which corresponds to each objective (Green et al.,2015).
The MU policy priority is the improvement of quality, efficient and safe health care that has reduced health care disparities. This includes use of medication orders that have been approved by the licensed healthcare providers. This policy is to ensure that healthcare there are no medication errors. This policy also requires healthcare providers to implement drug-drug interactions and allergy interaction checks. For easy monitor patient drug –drug interaction, the permissible prescriptions should be done electronically with certified EHR. The patient’s demographics should be recorded including, patient gender, ethnicity, preferred language, and age (Scherb et al., 2013).
The records must maintain a list of existing problem, active diagnoses, and vital signs such as weight, height, blood pressure, BMI, and growth charts for the children. These measures will help in the implementation of clinical decision to support relevant and in tracking medication adherence and compliance. The MU requires that patients and their relatives must be engaged in this practice. Patients must be issued with their electronic copy of their health information such as medication allergies, problem list and diagnostic test as well as the discharge summary. This helps in improving care coordination and simultaneously ensures that there is adequate privacy as well as security to protect the patient information (Martelle et al., 2015).
MU recommendation
Studies highlight the importance of MU in healthcare systems in delivering coordinated and quality patient care. Despite the numerous challenges and the ongoing support of MU in healthcare, several barriers have been identified. For instance, in Stage 1 of MU requires more resourceful and sophisticated technology. The advances are expected in stage 2 and in stage 3. This is challenging putting into consideration the existing management crisis in nursing. Evidence based research indicates that most healthcare facilities struggle to understand these measure. There is need for the healthcare management to recruit implementation specialist to devote their work in educating the nurses and the healthcare providers on the measures of MU stage 1 (Hess, 2014).
Additionally, most of the staffs at the departmental level are not adequately conversant with technology. There is need for more staff training as the vendor training is often sophisticated and limited. This is especially for stage 2 as the measures that require use of sophisticated information technology. Therefore, the two underlying challenges identified by the evidence-based practice are operational and financial. In terms of operations, the resources are low due to reduced advantage from the vendors and managerial crisis and reduced technical expertise. Additionally, lack of funding to procure the necessary elements that are important in meeting the elements is also a major issue. This has contributed to the high increase in noncompliance, reduced interoperability, limited reporting, and inability to support effective clinical decision-making improvements (Scherb et al., 2013).
Therefore, there is need to evaluate the long-term solution to address these challenges. The nurses must be incorporated in the search of the intervention, as they understand the challenges in the healthcare system including use of standardized terms between and within organizations.
Conclusion
This paper analyzed the benefits of adopting the electronic health records (EHRs) and the role of registered nurses in healthcare providers in achieving meaningful use requirements. The study indicates that by registered nurses can improve the healthcare quality and maintain quality care consistently through the and simultaneously reduce the healthcare costs. This article has outlined the benefits of participating in EHR incentives programs. The programs helps reduce costs through increased use of efficiencies through activities such as the reduction of redundant tests, making clinical experience benefits meaningful.

References
Green, L., Potworowski, G., Day, A., May-Gentile, R., Vibbert, D., Maki, B., & Kiesel, L. (2015). Sustaining “Meaningful Use” of Health Information Technology in Low-Resource Practices. The Annals Of Family Medicine, 13(1), 17-22. doi:10.1370/afm.1740
Hess, C. (2014). Meaningful Use. Advances In Skin & Wound Care, 27(11), 528. doi:10.1097/01.asw.0000455990.79423.7a
Martelle, M., Farber, B., Stazesky, R., Dickey, N., Parsons, A., & Venters, H. (2015). Meaningful Use of an Electronic Health Record in the New York City Jail System. Am J Public Health, 105(9), 1752-1754. doi:10.2105/ajph.2015.302796
Scherb, C., Maas, M., Head, B., Johnson, M., Kozel, M., & Reed, D. et al. (2013). Implications of Electronic Health Record Meaningful Use Legislation for Nursing Clinical Information System Development and Refinement. Int J Nurs Terminol Knowledge, 24(2), 93-100. doi:10.1111/j.2047-3095.2013.01235.x


 

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