Meaningful Use Results: So Far, So Good

More than $15.5 billion in EHR Incentive Program payments have been paid out by the federal government to eligible providers and hospitals in the meaningful use program, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The big question: Is this investment pointing healthcare providers in the right direction? The answer is a resounding “yes,” according to CMS. Doctors and other health care providers have been able to increase efficiency while safeguarding privacy and improving care for millions of patients nationwide by leveraging EHRs. Since the EHR Incentive Programs began in 2011:

  • More than 190 million electronic prescriptions have been sent by doctors, physician’s assistants and other health care providers using EHRs, reducing the chances of medication errors.
  • Health care professionals sent 4.6 million patients an electronic copy of their health information from their EHRs.
  • More than 13 million reminders about appointments, required tests, or check-ups were sent to patients using EHRs.
  • Providers have checked drug and medication interactions to ensure patient safety more than 40 million times through the use of EHRs.
  • Providers shared more than 4.3 million care summaries with other providers when patients moved between care settings resulting in better outcomes for their patients.

 “Electronic health records are transforming relationships between patients and their health care providers,” said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “EHRs improve care coordination, reduce duplicative tests and procedures, help patients take more control of their health and result in better overall health outcomes.“

“More patients than ever before are seeing the benefits of their providers using electronic health records to help better coordinate and manage their care,” said Farzad Mostashari, M.D., national coordinator for health information technology. “These data show that health care professionals are not only adopting electronic health records rapidly, they’re also using them to improve care.”