Some changes should be considered by the policymakers to Stage 3 Meaningful Use patient engagement requirements to better permit patients’ health data access.
Healthcare industry stakeholders and CMS should think about some significant modifications to the patient engagement requirements as the optional reporting period for Stage 3 Meaningful Use approaches, in accordance to a study released in the American Journal of Managed Care.
The research, conducted in collaboration with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, examined trial implementation of Stage 3 Meaningful Use patient engagement requirements at Intermountain Healthcare and Geisinger Health System.
4 draft patient engagement requirements were picked by the health systems, primarily concentrated on patient access to electronic health information, and executed them between the years of 2013 and 2014 to test their feasibility, finding that with certain policy modifications, they could make better the patient engagement.
In accordance to researchers, the draft objectives 1st proposed for MU Stage 3 (MU3) in the year of 2013 increased expectations about ability of patients to access and control the content and dissemination of their EHR data.
“Although, there are technical and resource restrictions to realizing the potential of EHR technology for engaging patients, involving a deficiency of sufferer awareness and tools for accessing data, and a still-evolving technology and data infrastructure.”
The researchers discovered areas in which policymakers could improve 4 of the program’s tested requirements by conducting qualitative interviews with senior staff at either health system, as well as a data analysis of how each system performed.
Requirements regarded to patient-directed health information dissemination will need more clarification from CMS, in accordance to researchers. Both health systems recommended “more particular guidance to define potential recipients, EHR functionality to designate recipients and the data they can get, and organizational plans or policies about applauding and using this information.”
Improvements in this place are essential for improving patient engagement. When sufferers have a say in who does and doesn’t have access to their care summaries, it motivates patient rights to privacy and assists them to participate with their several providers.
The researchers discovered a need for better technological support to make better the patient-generated health data requirement.
The researchers reported, “Geisinger found that extra vendor functionality is required for sufferers to easily give self-generated information, like health histories, symptoms, or substance use. They should have approach to their health records through several modes, be asked for relevant content, and know how this data will be utilized.”
For patients to understand, after visit-summaries also require being easier. These materials were not enough for patient education during this pilot, the researchers reported, and kept Intermountain and Geisinger from precisely assessing their effectiveness.
Furthermore, the researchers claimed that other sufferer education materials must be catered more particularly to the patient and offered in the preferred language of patient.
Geisinger and Intermountain informed various technology improvements for policy improvements.
Overall, the 2 health systems indicated that a semi-automated approach will be useful for meeting Stage 3 Meaningful Use patient engagement requirements. For instance, patient authorization for disseminating health data is best served as a manual procedure.
For verifying patient and clinician identity and treatment relationships, it’ll need manual maintenance.
As this pilot was conducted between the years of 2013 and 2014, the researchers applauded progress that CMS has made since its execution.
These modifications reportedly reduce some of the researchers’ recommendations.
The researchers concluded, “Still, meeting these needs will be complicated without infrastructure improvements to ensure a basic level of functionality and approach for providers and patients alike.”
“The pilot execution experience of the 2 advanced healthcare systems recommends that, at least in the short term, a semi-automated approach will be important to meet many of the MU3 Patient and Family Engagement aims, given the deficiency of infrastructure, standards, and functionality for complete automation.”