EHR Stage 3 Meaningful Use Proposal will affect Dentists

Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposal for certification requirements for Stage 3 Meaningful Use. There are eight goals outlined in the proposal that are focused on increasing the exchange of patient information and patient safety.

Objective 1: Protect Patient Health Information

This objective was outlined to increase protection of secure patient information through a variety of new technical and administrative safeguards. These regulations must follow the guidelines outlined by HIPPA. Dental professionals utilizing electronic health records will be required to utilize software that meets these standards in order to complete Stage 3.


Objective 2: Electronic Prescribing

The new proposal from CMS would require that all Meaningful Use eligible providers send more than 80% of their prescriptions electronically through certified electronic prescribing software. Electronic prescribing prevents a variety of errors and drug issues by streamlining and safe-checking all prescriptions. It is vital for patient safety and drug management that the health community must implement.


Objective 3: Clinical Decision Support

This objective would require all Meaningful Use eligible providers must implement five clinical decision support interventions that cover four clinical quality measures during the EHR process. An example of a clinical decision rule might be the ability to recommend certain procedures indicated by specific problems. These processes increase quality of care and allow health providers to maintain a streamlined, secure EHR process.


Objective 4: Computerized Provider Order Entry

There are four specific measure that are outlined within this objective:

– All Meaningful Use eligibleshutterstock_167757587 providers must utilize Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) for recording medication, laboratory and radiology requests. Note though that some items might not apply to dental providers

– More than 80% of the provider’s medication requests must be requested through a CPOE program.

– More than 60% of laboratory orders must be requested through a CPOE program

– More than 60% of diagnostic imaging orders must be requested through a CPOE program.

CPOE processes allow dental professionals to improve patient care through a more efficient electronic workflow


Objective 5: Patient Electronic Access to Health Information

Patient access to health records has always been a main focus for CMS. Due to the electronic nature of dental and medical records, patients should be able to access their information through secure online services whether 3rd party or integrated with the dental EHR software. This objective aims at improving patient reminders, patient-specific education tools/resources, clinical summaries and the ability to review and share information with a third party.

These physician-patient communication channels will make patients feel like they are more engaged in their care and more informed on their personal health. This requirement states that Meaningful Use eligible providers must offer patients electronic access to view, download and share their patient information within 24 hours of their clinical visit.


dentist and patientObjective 6: Coordination of Care through Patient Engagement

Secure patient communication is key for dental professionals. Increased security and increased communication will improve patient’s knowledge of their clinical visits and may take out any uncertainty between providers and patients. This objective would require providers to increase their secure online patient communication and encourages the EHR community to develop more secure patient communication pathways.


Objective 7: Health Information Exchange

Exchanging clinical patient information is a vital process when providers are transitioning a patient to a different provider such as a specialist, or another consulting provider. Efficient and secure transmission of patient information will decrease communication errors and improve overall patient care. This CMS objective would require providers to create standardized care record summaries for patients transitioning among different settings.


Objective 8: Clinical Data Registry Reporting

This objective furthers the importance of communications channels between care settings and clinical data registries. This information is key to outlining care and outcomes patterns. This proposed rule will require Meaningful Use eligible providers to submit clinical data to various registries through certified EHR systems.