Health information technology (health IT) helps health care professionals manage patient care securely and efficiently through the use of electronic health records (EHRs). Learn more about health IT and access health IT-related tools and resources that enable easier clinical quality reporting and improvement.
In 2004, Executive Order 13335 called for the widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by 2014. Five years later, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) included the Health Information Technology for Clinical and Economic Health (HITECH) Act, which provided significant funding for the “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) was charged with creating standards and criteria for certifying EHR technology. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) was responsible for incentivizing eligible providers to implement certified EHR systems and demonstrate that they can use them meaningfully to improve the quality, efficiency, and safety of patient care through the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.
The certification and demonstration criteria covered aspects of electronic clinical quality measure reporting, clinical decision support, e-prescribing, recording and charting changes in vital signs, and easily providing patients electronic access to their health information through patient portals and other modes (see the ONC Health IT Playbook for information on these topics and more).
Since 2012, Million Hearts® has leveraged and aligned with meaningful use requirements to help achieve the initiative’s goals by streamlining the reporting burden for clinicians and providing useful cardiovascular disease-focused health IT solutions.
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) establishes new ways to pay physicians for caring for Medicare beneficiaries. For example, MACRA calls for the creation of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) as part of the Quality Payment Program (QPP).
MIPS will consolidate components of three existing programs:
MIPS will continue the focus on quality, resource use, and use of certified EHR technology in a cohesive program that avoids redundancies. In 2017 and beyond, Million Hearts® will leverage and align with requirements of MIPS including its clinical quality measure reporting and clinical practice improvement activities.
The EHR Optimization Guides, developed by the ONC, help healthcare professionals leverage their EHR systems to excel in the ABCS. Through helpful step-by-step instructions, the guides illustrate how providers can use their EHR products to find, use, and improve data on the Million Hearts® clinical quality measures. Ultimately, these guides facilitate the identification of at-risk patients, helping clinical teams across the country protect their patients from heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular events.