The proposed rules for stage 2 of the ARRA-HITECH meaningful use EHR systems were the focus of two comment letters filed by AHIMA. The letters were provided to Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).
While making clear in the letter to CMS its support of many CMS proposals, AHIMA stresses the need for consensus-based quality measurement reporting and calls for consistency among the various stage 2 requirements for all federal programs whose requirements overlap with meaningful use.
The letter to ONC includes AHIMA’s recommendation that there should be a more “consistent approach to nationwide interoperability.”
“We advocate for a more defined national approach that would promote a consistent interoperability format,” says AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, FACHE. “Funding should be leveraged to support this initiative.”
Also in the ONC letter, AHIMA called for the proposed definition of a base EHR to expand to include the ability to produce a health record for legal, business, and disclosure purposes. This recommended definition would include patient demographic and clinical health information, have the capacity to provide clinical decision support, include physician order entry, and integrate information from other sources while protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of health information.