Health Information Technology and Meaningful Use
Health Information Technology is the framework for the electronic collection and transfer of health information in a secure format among health care providers, consumers, laboratories, insurers, public health and other health partners. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 provided funding to states, including Ohio, to promote the use of health information technology to improve the health of all citizens. A core component is to provide enhanced reimbursement to providers and hospitals for the “Meaningful Use” of electronic health records coordinated by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and administered in Ohio by the Department of Medicaid. The Ohio Department of Health manages the Meaningful Use objectives for public health.
Electronic Health Records and Regional Extension Centers
The electronic health record is the primary component of an electronic health information system. Regional Extension Centers (REC) were established to assist eligible providers and hospitals with the selection and adoption of electronic health record systems, as well as to help with meeting “Meaningful Use” objectives for enhanced reimbursement.
Funds from the federal grants are directed to the RECs to assist providers with electronic health record (EHR) adoption. Seven sub-regions throughout the state were created by the Ohio Health Information Partnership (www.clinisync.org). In addition, federal funds were also granted to HealthBridge, to provide these services in 11 counties in southwest Ohio (as well as counties in southeast Indiana and northern Kentucky) (www.HealthBridge.org).
Policy for Public Health Reporting Measures
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has the capability to accept data for public health reporting from eligible hospitals (EHs) and eligible professionals (EPs) according to Meaningful Use guidelines. For EHs this includes immunization registries, reportable laboratory results, and syndromic surveillance. For EPs, cancer reporting, immunization registries, specialized disease registries, and syndromic surveillance are included. An entity may register the intent of its EPs and EHs to meet MU public health objectives at www.OhioPublicHealthReporting.info.
ODH prefers the use of health information exchanges (HIEs) for public health reporting. CliniSync and HealthBridge are Ohio-based HIEs that are able to submit data to ODH. In the future, it is anticipated that all public health reporting data will flow through HIEs to ODH. However, not all EHs and EPs are currently connected to an HIE. For EHs and EPs not working with an HIE and for providers that have determined that it is not feasible to conduct public health reporting through an HIE, ODH will accept data directly from EPs and EHs. The registration of intent process is the same for either method of data transmission.
Last Updated 10/25/2013
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