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Meaningful Use

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) provides financial incentives to promote the use of electronic health records (EHR). The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has implemented incentive programs for Eligible Providers, Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals to adopt, implement and demonstrate meaningful use (MU) of Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT). Included in the strategies for demonstrating “Meaningful Use” of EHR systems are objectives related to public health: 1) submission of immunization registry data, 2) submission of syndromic surveillance data, and 3) submission of reportable disease laboratory reports.  The Georgia Department of Public Health’s (DPH) State Electronic Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (SendSS) and Epidemiology Section is working with Eligible Providers, Eligible Hospitals, and Critical Access Hospitals on these public-health related meaningful use objectives. DPH is now receiving electronic submissions of data for the purpose of Meaningful Use Attestation.

Stage 1

Concludes at the end of fiscal year 2013 (9/30/13) for Eligible Hospitals, or calendar year 2014 (12/31/14) for Eligible Providers.

Stage 2

Begins on 10/1/13 for Eligible Hospitals and 1/1/14 for Eligible Providers. See the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website for specific Stage 2 timelines and criteria.

Stage 3 

Meaningful Use requirements are still under development and are scheduled to begin in 2016.

See the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website for up-to-date information on the EHR Incentive Programs.
 

Meaningful Use Stage 1

GDPH has been receiving test messages for Stage 1 Meaningful Use Attestation. Three of the 10 Meaningful Use menu-set objectives specify electronic reporting of data to public health. Eligible Providers could choose at least one of three public health objectives and measures from the menu-set to meet the Stage 1meaningful use requirements. These objectives included submitting electronic immunization information to immunization registries or immunization information systems and/or submitting electronic syndromic surveillance data. Eligible Hospitals also could choose at least one public health objective from the menu-set, which includes the two above objectives and/or could choose to submit electronic laboratory results to public health.

Objective

Eligible Provider

Eligible Hospital

Standards

Immunization Records

≥ 1 test of submission to GRITS immunization registry

 ≥ 1 test of submission to GRITS immunization registry

 HL7 v2.3.1 or greater

Reportable Labs

N/A

 ≥ 1 test of submission to public health

 HL7 v2.3.1 or greater

Syndromic Surveillance

≥ 1 test of submission to public health

≥ 1 test of submission to public health

 HL7 v2.3.1 or greater

Meaningful Use – Stage 2

The focus for Meaningful Use Stage 2 is establishing ongoing data communication between eligible providers, laboratory or hospital EHR systems and Public Health. This stage implements the testing process performed in Stage 1.

Objective

Eligible Provider

Eligible Hospital

Standards

Immunization Records

Ongoing submission to GRITS immunization registry

Ongoing submission to GRITS immunization registry

HL7 2.5.1
(see note below for HL7 2.3.1 options)

Reportable Labs

Ongoing submission to public health

Ongoing submission to public health

HL7 2.5.1

(see note below for HL7 2.3.1 options)

Syndromic Surveillance

Ongoing submission to public health

Ongoing submission to public health

HL7 2.5.1

(see note below for HL7 2.3.1 options)

NOTE: To meet this objective and measure, an Eligible Provider or Eligible Hospital must use the capabilities and standards of Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT), i.e., HL7 2.5.1. If Eligible Providers have achieved successful ongoing submission using EHR technology certified to the 2011 Edition EHR certification criteria (HL7 2.3.1 only) before calendar year 2014, they can continue this ongoing submission and meet the Stage 2 measure.

To register for Meaningful Use Stage 2, click here.

GDPH will then contact you to provide specific information about the next steps and answer your questions.

For more information about Stage 2 Meaningful Use, contact: meaningfuluse@dhr.state.ga.us.

Immunization Reporting

The Georgia Department of Public Health’s Georgia GRITS (Registry of Immunization  Transactions and Services) consolidates a Georgia resident’s immunization records into a complete, accurate and definitive immunization record. GRITS is Georgia’s immunization registry/information system. Currently, GRITS receives data from hospital systems, health care plans, vital records offices, local health departments, private providers, Medicaid, and schools. GRITS provides individuals, families and health professionals with tools needed to make sound medical decisions.

Objectives and Measures for Submission of Immunization Information:

  • Objective for Eligible Providers, Eligible Hospitals/Critical Access Hospitals: Capability to submit electronic data to GRITS and actual submission, except where prohibited and in accordance with applicable law and practice.
  • Measure for Eligible Professionals, Eligible Hospitals/Critical Access Hospitals: Ongoing submission of electronic immunization data from Certified EHR Technology to GRITS for the EHR reporting period.

Stage 2 begins October 1, 2013 for Eligible Hospitals and January 1, 2014 for Eligible Providers. See the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website additional information.

For Eligible Practitioners, electronic reporting of immunizations is a core objective in Stage 2, rather than a menu option as it was in Stage 1. 

Laboratory Results Reporting

Included in the strategies for demonstrating “meaningful use” of EHR systems is the submission of electronic data on reportable laboratory results to public health agencies. Laboratory reporting of reportable diseases and conditions enables timely public health intervention, including epidemiologic investigations, implementation of control measures, and treatment of susceptible contacts.  The electronic reporting of reportable disease laboratory results meets Georgia’s notifiable disease reporting requirements. Messaging from hospital laboratories meets the meaning use objective. For laboratory results reporting in Stage 2, submission of the following core-set items apply:

  • Eligible Hospital/Critical Access Hospital Objective: Ongoing submission of electronic reportable laboratory results from a Certified EHR Technology to SendSS for the EHR reporting period.
  • Eligible Hospital/Critical Access Hospital Measure: Ongoing submission of electronic reportable laboratory results from a Certified EHR Technology to SendSS for the EHR reporting period.
  • Eligible Provider: Ongoing submission of electronic reportable laboratory results from a Certified EHR Technology to SendSS for the EHR reporting period.

Syndromic Surveillance

Included in the strategies for demonstrating “meaningful use” of the EHR systems is the submission of electronic syndromic surveillance data to public health agencies.

The DPH Epidemiology Section uses Syndromic Surveillance to aid in event detection and monitor community health trends. Pre-diagnostic, “chief complaints” from patients are used to identify patterns of illness. For example, Syndromic Surveillance is used to monitor seasonal trends such as influenza-like illness to help identify possible outbreaks and other issues of public health concern. Data is transmitted from participating facilities to SendSS daily. The data are grouped into syndromes and statistical algorithms are applied to identify unusual temporal and geographic patterns that might indicate situations of public health concern. Transmission includes limited patient-identifying information. SendSS uses technical and administrative measures to ensure the security of the data and protect the confidentiality of the submitted information.

To register for Meaningful Use Stage 2, click here.

Meaningful Use Stage 3

Stage 3 Meaningful Use requirements are still under development and are scheduled to begin in 2016.  Stage 3 will focus on increased data exchange and data quality assurance and improvement, as well as selected system decision-support capacity. For additional information, see the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website.


Contact Information

meaningfuluse@dhr.state.ga.us