Rheumatologists must understand how their EHR system works, and, if necessary, change gradually, Dr. Carson said. “We decided to delay the e-copy [electronic summary] to patients until we could establish a portal, which is more secure,” he said. Web portals allow patients to log on to a secure site to access records rather than having them e-mailed. To send patient reminders, another Meaningful Use measure, his hospital’s technology staff created a program to send patients text messages that upload to their smartphone calendars.
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Dr. Carson said his practice decided to work toward achieving Meaningful Use mainly for the incentives. “It may not be associated with meaningful care, but penalties are impactful,” he said. “You need to understand how measures are recorded by your EHR and come up with a plan.”
Susan Bernstein is a freelance medical journalist based in Atlanta.