Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records: Experiences from the Field and Future Opportunities

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Review: Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records: Experiences from the Field and Future Opportunities[1]


The authors attempt to provide a review of the meaningful use (MU) policy relating to the use of medication in an attempt to deliver a cooperatively established recommendation to assist present and future health information technology (HIT) policy.


The method was atypical in the fact that, though it took a systematic approach, the "specific issues and recommendations" were debated and established by a collection of individuals rather than being concluded with a predefined algorithm. The total number of participants was 35. The roles of the individuals varied; titles such as Chief Medical Informatics Officer and Chief Medical Information Officer were among the many. The group were asked open-ended questions, thus allowing a variety of answers (some presumably would be opinions rather than fact-based). The authors noted that the discussion was based on the principles of consensus decisionmaking.


It was determined that additional consideration should be given to the configuration of local HIT that can improve on population healthcare essentials. Further results showed that patients were at risk due to the quality of the medication list that the EHR produced (it was pointed out that this was due to missing parts, duplications, and inaccurate prescription information). Thus superior tools are required to support this procedure. It was also suggested that the electronic health record (EHR) should allow for the utilization of external data to assist on comprehensive patient list. Further it was shown that the list containing allergies of the patient were also in need of improvement. This particular improvement only got so far as to suggest that patients needed to be involved during this procedure; however, the group disagreed on the patient's potential role in the process.


Though MU had aggressively pursued the use of EHRs, the benefits are yet to be seen in the realm of quality and safety. The overall consensus was that MU should obtain more flexibility in means of information sharing.


I feel that this study lacks merit and evidence that truly support the authors’ claims. I feel that a more methodical approach could and should have been taken in this study. Additionally, the "issues" pointed out appear to be human error due to lack of training or preparation.


  1. Slight, S., Berner, E., Galanter, W., Huff, S., Lambert, B., Lannon, C., ... Bates, D. (2015, Jul-Sep). Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records: Experiences From the Field and Future Opportunities. JMIR Medical Informatics , 3(3), 1-11.

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