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Meaningful Use Initiative: Ethical and Legal Issues

Introduction

According to Gray, Bowden, Johansen, and Koch (2011, p. 2), “Meaningful Use is an initiative aimed at improving the health outcomes of every American citizen”. This program focuses on the use of Electric Health Record (EHR) technology. Medical practitioners and health organizations should “use certified EHR technologies in order to support the health needs of their patients” (Gray, Bowden, Johansen, & Koch, 2011, p. 2). The Meaningful Use program is relevant because it supports the changing health needs of every citizen. This paper gives a succinct analysis of the term “Meaningful Use”. The second part describes the implications of “Meaningful Use”. This part will also discuss how the collection of Meaningful Use core criteria can transform the country’s health policy. The third part of the essay describes the best recommendations for collection of additional criteria for Meaningful Use. This approach will ensure the program promotes the best health practices. The essay will also present the best recommendations. The conclusion will outline the major insights gained from the assignment.

Overview of “Meaningful Use” Program

The American Healthcare Sector (AHS) uses various programs to support the health of every citizen. The role of medical technologies cannot be underestimated. This single fact explains why the US has identified appropriate technologies that can improve the quality of medical care. The program embraces use of EHR technologies. Medical practitioners can use these technologies to gather quality health information. The program will also promote the implementation of quality health services. According to Butler (2014, p. 11), “the use of Electronic Health Record (EHR) technologies can improve the level of medical efficiency, safety, and quality”.

Medical errors have emerged due to the continued use of traditional health practices. Many practitioners have also been unable to improve the speed of healthcare. Some health institutions are unable to support the needs of different populations. These challenges explain why the Meaningful Use program will improve the nature of nursing. Such technologies are “expected to promote new practices such as coordination, health management, and information-sharing” (Gray et al., 2011, p. 6).

According to many experts and professionals, the Meaningful Use program will ensure more practitioners offer evidence-based care to their patients. Such technologies will ensure more communities participate in different health practices. The collected information will be used to make informed decisions. The health sector will use the gathered information to address every medical problem. The “program will also bring together many stakeholders such as parents, patients, guardians, practitioners, policymakers, and communities” (Bizer, Boncz, Brodie, & Erling, 2011, p. 57). Every medical facility should embrace the Meaningful Use program because it can produce many health benefits.

Analysis: The Implications of Meaningful Use Core Criteria

The American government uses various strategies in order to achieve the targeted health goals. Many health institutions receive their incentive payments from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS). Such incentive payments are used to improve the quality of healthcare. The agency collaborates with the government in order to implement the Meaningful Use program. The agency has also identified three stages to support the effective use of different EHR technologies.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS) ensures “every health institution and eligible professional (EP) demonstrates the continued use of EHR technology” (Bizer et al., 2011, p. 59). Such health organizations and EPs should implement these technologies in order to receive their incentive payments. The government expects such organizations to implement the program within a specified period. Every hospital is expected to support the targeted three stages.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services uses rigid mechanisms to implement this program. According to many professionals, the program will produce many health benefits (Bizer et al., 2011). The use of such EHR technologies will ensure more institutions gather the relevant data from their patients.

The targeted stages identify the major processes and benefits of the Meaningful Use program. Throughout the first stage, EPs and health institutions should capture the relevant data from different stakeholders. They should also share the information using various EHR systems. The “gathered data should also be stored using electronic systems” (Butler, 2014, p. 8). The data should also be standardized in order to improve the level of information-sharing. This stage is “critical because it has made it easier for many institutions to share their health information” (Butler, 2014, p. 9). New quality measures have also become common in different health facilities.

The second stage is aimed at “improving the level of Health Information Exchange (HIE)” (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015, p. 27). This objective is critical because it supports the concept of evidence-based practice. Medical facilities are also expected to gather various medical results. Such results should also be stored in electronic formats. Medical institutions should avail their results in order to improve the level of coordination. Medical practitioners and Nurse Leaders (NLs) should be able to access this information (Butler, 2014). This goal is expected to play a grand role towards improving the quality of medical care.

The implementation of the third stage will produce quality medical outcomes. For instance, the implementation of this program will ensure healthcare becomes an evidence-based practice in the country. Medical practitioners should use the collected information to make informed healthcare decisions (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). Many nurses will be ready to share their skills with their workmates. The created pool of information will be used to offer evidence-based care (Butler, 2014). Nurse Leaders (NLs) will be able to interact with different caregivers in order to produce the best standards of practice.

The program is expected to present powerful systems and disease management practices (DMPs). The gathered data can be used to formulate new nursing theories. Such models will support the health needs of many patients. The level of interaction between practitioners and patients will improve significantly. These practices will result in new health policies that can support the needs of many communities. The government can also use the information to make better policies. Such policies will improve the health outcomes of many citizens. Many practitioners will also use the gathered information to improve their competencies (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015).

This discussion identifies the implications of Meaningful Use criteria. According to different studies, the use of medical technologies can improve the quality of care. Nurses should therefore embrace such EHR technologies in order to offer fast, reliable, quality, and effective care. According to Butler (2014, p. 5), “the Meaningful Use program will offer a reliable pool of data that can result in better health practices”.

Evidence-Based Recommendations: Collection of Additional Criteria

The Meaningful Use program has the potential to improve the future of American healthcare. This program will encourage more EPs to improve the health outcomes of every citizen. The effective use of EHR technologies will ensure more nurses provide evidence-based care. The EHR technologies will also support the four paradigms of nursing (Butler, 2014). The above stages identify powerful objectives that can produce the best health goals.

Some recommendations will make this program more effective. To begin with, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services examines the effective implementation of different EHR technologies. This strategy encourages more institutions to implement the above program. However, it hinders many EPs from achieving their potentials. That being the case, the government should identify various strategies to fund every health facility. This approach will ensure such institutions embrace the use of effective EHR technologies. The second recommendation focuses on the analog data held by different health institutions (Gray et al., 2014). Such institutions should “convert this information and record it using modern electronic systems” (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015, p. 73). This information will eventually support the changing health needs of many citizens in the country.

Conclusion

This discussion shows clearly that the continued use of medical technologies will result in better health practices. The current structure of the Meaningful Use program has the potential to improve the health of every American citizen. Many nurses will be able “to offer evidence-based care to their patients” (Butler, 2014, p. 13). The above discussion has identified new recommendations that can make the Meaningful Use program more effective. The collection of appropriate data and information will produce the best medical practices. Such practices will eventually support the health needs of many patients in the world.

Reference List

Bizer, C., Boncz, P., Brodie, M., & Erling, O. (2011). The Meaningful Use of Big Data: Four Perspectives – Four Perspectives. SIGMOD Record, 40(4), 56-60.

Butler, B. (2014). Meaningful Use and Corrections: Unknown Opportunities. Community Oriented Correctional Health Services, 1(1), 1-15.

Gray, B., Bowden, T., Johansen, I., & Koch, S. (2011). Electronic Health Records: An International Perspective on “Meaningful Use”. The Commonwealth Fund, 28(1), 1-16.

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. (2015). Nursing Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

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