Meaningful Use Updates

Rita BowenMeaningful Use Updates blog provides insight into the requirements that hospitals and eligible providers must meet to achieve Meaningful Use. Authored by Rita Bowen, MA, RHIA, CHPS, SSGA, Past President of the Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and HealthPort Senior Vice President of HIM and Privacy Officer, the Meaningful Use Updates blog serves as an educational forum for discussions on the intricacies and steps involved in the Meaningful Use process.

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About Rita…
Ms. Bowen is a distinguished professional with 20-plus years of experience in the health information management industry. She serves as the Sr. Vice President of HIM and Privacy Officer of HealthPort where she is responsible for acting as an internal customer advocate. Most recently, Ms. Bowen served as the Enterprise Director of HIM Services for Erlanger Health System for 13 years, where she received commendation from the hospital county authority for outstanding leadership. Ms. Bowen is the recipient of Mentor FORE Triumph Award and Distinguished Member of AHIMA’s Quality Management Section. She has served as the AHIMA President and Board Chair in 2010, a member of AHIMA’s Board of Directors (2006-2011), the Council on Certification (2003-2005) and various task groups including CHP exam and AHIMA’s liaison to HIMSS for the CHS exam construction (2002). 

Ms. Bowen is an established speaker on diverse HIM topics and an active author on privacy and legal health records. She served on the CCHIT security and reliability workgroup and as Chair of Regional Committees East-Tennessee HIMSS and co-chair of Tennessee’s e-HIM group. She is an adjunct faculty member of the Chattanooga State HIM program and UT Memphis HIM Master’s program. She also serves on the advisory board for Care Communications based in Chicago, Illinois.

Click here to see all of Rita's upcoming speaking engagements!


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Meaningful Use Stage 2 – Patient Access – Data Requirements

As we mentioned in an earlier blog post, the proposed Stage 2 requirements replace the release of information (ROI) related item for patient “electronic copy of health information” with a new online access requirement.  In that post, we promised to list the data elements which must be available through a portal or PHR in order to satisfy Meaningful Use.

The below lists are different for Eligible Professionals (EPs) vs. Hospitals


  • Patient name
  • Provider's name and office contact information
  • Problem list
  • Procedures
  • Laboratory test results
  • Medication list
  • Medication allergy list
  • Vital signs (height, weight, blood pressure, BMI, growth charts)
  • Smoking status
  • Demographic information (preferred language, gender, race, ethnicity, date of birth)
  • Care plan field, including goals and instructions, and
  • Any additional known care team members beyond the referring or transitioning provider and the receiving provider


  • Admit and discharge date and location
  • Reason for hospitalization
  • Providers of care during hospitalization
  • Problem list maintained by the hospital on the patientRelevant past diagnoses known by the hospital
  • Medication list maintained by the hospital on the patient (both current admission and historical)
  • Medication allergy list maintained by the hospital on the patient (both current admission and historical)
  • Vital signs at discharge
  • Laboratory test results (available at time of discharge)
  • Care transition summary and plan for next provider of care (for transitions other than home)
  • Discharge instructions for patient, and
  • Demographics maintained by hospital (gender, race, ethnicity, date of birth, preferred language, smoking status)

NOTE:  Providers still hold full rights to withhold information if they judge (strictly a la HIPAA) that the information is better communicated another way or not at all.  CMS does not believe there is a legitimate case for withholding ALL information from an encounter with a patient – just parts.

What effect will this have on HIM?
HealthPort believes that meeting this MU requirement may eliminate some patient requests for medical records, particularly if lab results are the focus, but that some patient requests would continue to arrive in the HIM department for a more complete release. This will all depend on patient awareness of the online option, and on how much of the record the facility makes available on-line beyond these minimum requirements.

If you want to look these up in the rule:

1.  Click here to access the pdf version of the rule
2.  The new proposed objective for “Access” starts on page 91 for EPs, page 144 for hospitals.
3.  The list of required record data for online access starts on page 97 for EPs, page 145 for hospitals.
4.  If you prefer the table form for reviewing the requirements, that starts on page 156.
5.  And the actual rule verbiage (not the comments and table mentioned above) is on page 406 for EPs, page 414 for hospitals.

In my next post, I’ll explore the encryption aspects of Stage 2.  Stay tuned...

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