Meeting Meaningful Use Criteria and Managing Patient Populations

The adoption of electronic health records (EHR) is examined in this article and the extent to which physicians are using the systems to manage their patient panels through meeting the meaningful use criteria.

Responses from a mailed survey were analyzed from 1,820 primary care physicians (PCPs) and specialists in office-based practices. Primary outcome variables included: adoption of a basic EHR, and the ability to meet meaningful use criteria. The sample was obtained from the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile, and was conducted between October 2011 and March 2012. The proxy measure contained 11 of the 15 core requirements in the first of two stages of meaningful use, as defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The attitudes/perceptions toward meaningful use and EHRs are also discussed in this article.

Key Finding:

  • Of 43.5 percent of physicians who reported having a basic EHR, only 9.8 percent reported being able to use their systems to meet meaningful use criteria (11.2% among PCPs and 7.6% among specialists.)

The perceived ease of use of computerized systems for effectively managing patient populations is an important area for future research. Additional insights for meeting the full potential of these electronic tools will help improve quality of care.