Understanding Meaningful Use Objectives, Part 1

A message from James Kirchner, OD, Chief Professional Officer for Eyefinity/OfficeMate:

Dr. James Kirchner

At Eyefinity/OfficeMate, we are celebrating the certification of OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v10. We are excited to be able to produce a certified EHR, which is a critical component of your meaningful use (MU) strategy.

Now it’s time to help you understand the MU objectives. As I promised in my previous articles, I’ll give you the specifics of the 25, MU criteria, so that you can be confident in your ability to use your certified software in a meaningful way. My goal is your success in getting your portion of the stimulus money—all $44,000.

There are 25 objectives as established in the Final Rule by CMS, I’m going to detail all 25 over the next few blog articles. I’ll make them very practical to understand. I’ll begin by detailing the first 15 which are called “core” objectives and CMS expects eligible providers (EPs) to perform all 15. The second set is called “menu,” and you will be expected to perform 5 out of the 10 menu objectives. Therefore, a total of 20 out of the 25 objectives will need to be accomplished for successfully using your certified EHR in a meaningful way.

There are exclusion provisions that have been established, so that you can decide if any of the 15 should be excluded by you. I’ll address the exclusions in the future. For now, let’s go through the list. I’m going to group the objectives by 3 major categories for the sake of clarity. I’ll do the first category in this edition and the other categories in next few blog articles.

Category 1: Recording and Securely Storing Specific Patient Data

  1. Record Demographics
    Record the patient’s preferred language, gender, race, ethnicity, and date of birth.
  2. Maintain a Problem List
    Maintain an up-to-date problem list of current and active diagnoses.
  3. Maintain an Active Medication Allergy List
    Maintain a list of patient medication allergies. If the patient hasn’t any medication allergies, you must record as none.
  4. Maintain an Active Medication List
    Maintain a list of patient medications. If the patient isn’t taking any medications, you must record as none
  5. Record and Chart Vital Signs
    Record height, weight, blood pressure, calculate and display BMI, plot and display growth charts for children 2–20 years of age, including BMI.
  6. Record Smoking Status
    Record the smoking habits of patients 13 years and older.

There you have the first set of MU objectives. Remember that your certified EHR must provide you with the tools to accomplish the tasks listed above, but it will be up to you to do the work.

I know that many of you will be concerned with some of the objectives listed. I mentioned that the CMS Final Rule makes allowances for exclusions. The topic of exclusions is worthy of a complete edition of Trends and Tactics, so stay with me through this series, and I’ll explain them.

Virtual Users’ Group Meeting: Don’t Wait, Sign Up Now!

We have been getting a lot of practices registering for our annual Virtual Users’ Group Meeting (vUGM), which is just a couple of weeks away. The vUGM runs from July 26–30 and boasts 37 different course topics, making this a venue that has something for everyone in the office.

Our first two user group meetings were held in person in Newport Beach, California. Both meetings were wildly successful, and the attendance exceeded all expectations.

Meeting in person was great, but we know that, in this economy, practices are looking for cost-effective ways to train their staff. Since there is no travel involved to attend a virtual users’ group meeting, it’s no surprise that many practices are jumping on this economically sound opportunity to refresh their knowledge and learn a new trick or two. Not only are practices saving on airfare, but they don’t need to register each person; the whole practice can attend on one low ticket price of $150.

Additionally, there is no limit to the number of classes a person or practice can take, and attendees can view recordings of each session starting a few weeks after the vUGM to catch the sessions they missed. Last year, many offices paid the ticket price just to get access to the recordings, which had over 5,000 viewings.

Because there are no travel arrangements to be made, we expected many practices to wait until the last minute to register, but so many practices have registered early that this vUGM looks to be most successful yet.

The deadline to register is July 19, but don’t wait. Sign up now if you haven’t already. Details and registration information can be found at http://www.officemate.net/usersgroup.aspx.

“See” you there!

Big Changes Are Coming to OfficeMate and ExamWRITER

Are you curious about what Eyefinity/OfficeMate has in store for spring 2010? Headed out to Vision Expo East? Swing by our booth (#2336) and get a sneak peek at OfficeMate/ExamWRITER version 9.0 (v9.0) before anyone else does! The new v9.0 delivers cutting-edge technology to amplify the performance and profitability of your practice.

With 175 enhancements, v9.0 offers significant new and advanced features. In addition, v9.0 is built on an SQL database platform that provides greater improvement in speed, flexibility, and stability over the previous platform. v9.0 offers many features to help simplify accounting practices, increase accuracy, and save time calculating charges for insurance and allocating reimbursements.

Plus, v9.0 is a catalyst toward our certified version that positions you to receive federal stimulus money available through the HITECH Act, which encourages adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs) like ExamWRITER.

As we update the technologies that power OfficeMate/ExamWRITER, you’ll need to evaluate the computer equipment used throughout your practice to meet new hardware and system requirements.

To view the requirements, including hardware, software, peripheral, and network requirements, visit the hardware and system requirements page on our web site.

As we move closer toward the release of OfficeMate/ExamWRITER v9.0 later this spring, be on the lookout for additional communication from us. You can find the latest news here on our blog, the officemate.net and eyefinity.com web sites, and our Twitter feed. All of these avenues of communication will all be abuzz with news and information about v9.0. Also, check your email inbox for the latest information.

Lunch and Learn with the ExamWRITER Brown Bag eLearn Series

Why not kick off 2010 with some ExamWRITER electronic medical records education for you and your staff?  Two new Brown Bag webinars are now available at 12 p.m. in every time zone, and are provided at no cost to you.  Find a time that works for you and your staff and check out our eLearn series while you enjoy your lunch!

ExamWRITER Tips and Tricks Sessions

Learn ExamWRITER Tips and Tricks to increase your efficiency with medical record documentation, while eating lunch at your desk.  These Webinars are FREE* to all clients, and the subject matter will change each month. So be sure to check the schedule  often—you won’t want to miss a single session!

Monthly Schedule & Time/Zone

First Friday: 12 – 12:30 p.m. EASTERN     Facilitator: Lorie Lippiatt, OD

Second Tuesday: 12 – 12:30 p.m. CENTRAL   Facilitator: Ryan Wineinger, OD

Third Monday: 12 – 12:30 p.m. MOUNTAIN  Facilitator: Kim Castleberry, OD

Fourth Wednesday: 12 – 12:30 p.m. PACIFIC  Facilitator: Rebecca Johnson, COT

Q&A Sessions
With ExamWRITER Q&A sessions, you can get it to go by asking your question and leaving the session, or stay online to hear questions from your colleagues. Join these live, instructor-led sessions to get answers to your ExamWRITER questions.

Monthly Schedule & Time/Zone (Facilitated by Marsha Vaughn & Rebecca Johnson)

Each Tuesday: 12 – 12:45 p.m. PACIFIC

Each Wednesday: 12 – 12:45 p.m. MOUNTAIN

Each Thursday: 12 – 12:45 p.m. CENTRAL

Each Friday: 12 – 12:45 p.m. EASTERN

How to Participate

Register online by logging on and clicking the Daily tab. Use the calendar to select your desired session date, then click Register. You’ll receive an e-mail confirmation with the session password, registration ID, and the link you’ll need to join the session.

*Only the sessions titled Q&A and Tips and Tricks are free of charge. Other listed courses are part of the New Client package, and are available with the purchase of OfficeMate, ExamWRITER, or Enterprise software. If you’re interested in purchasing these courses, contact ossu@officemate.net. If you have questions about enrolling in a session, contact us at 800.269.3666, option 3, then option 1, or ossu@officemate.net.

Top 5 OfficeMate Suite FAQs

Guest blogger: Eyefinity/OfficeMate Director of Customer Care Brian McPherson

Do you have questions about using the OfficeMate Suite? Your questions have probably already been asked by other users. Read our top five OfficeMate Suite FAQs below:

Brian M. is Director of Customer Care for Eyefinity/OfficeMate.

1. Where can I get the latest version of the OfficeMate Suite?

Click here to download and install the latest version of the OfficeMate Suite (currently, version 8.0.21).

2. How do I set up recalls?

Click here for instructions on setting up recalls in OfficeMate.

3. How do I apply insurance chargebacks?

Find the instructions for applying insurance chargebacks here.

4. Why am I receiving a 90-day evaluation message on one of my workstations?

Click here for information on the 90-day evaluation message.

5. What should I do if I see Error 2147467259 when attempting to open OfficeMate?

Check to see if another workstation in the office is receiving this error message.  If the error is occurring on all workstations and your server, run the Repair Utility that is loaded with the software.  For information on running the Repair Utility, click here.

If the error is not occurring on all workstations, double-click on My Computer and then double-click on the network drive where the OfficeMate data is stored (often C:/OMATE32/Data).  If you see files on the drive, close the window and try opening OfficeMate again. If after clicking on the network drive, you see a network disconnection error, reboot the workstation.  You are probably not “attached” to your office network properly.  If the error persists, contact your network support technician because you are experiencing issues with your computer network.  OfficeMate will not launch until it can attach to the server where the data is located.

OfficeMate and ExamWRITER Questions? Try the Knowledge Base!

For over four years now, Eyefinity/OfficeMate has built and maintained an extensive online knowledge base to help clients answer technical questions about their OfficeMate and ExamWRITER software. In the beginning, we only had a few articles and categories posted online and the content in the articles was mostly basic “how to” content (i.e., how to process recalls in OfficeMate). Now, the online knowledge base contains over 1300 articles in 122 categories.

Carrie D. is the Director of Documentation for Eyefinity/OfficeMate

Carrie D. is the Director of Documentation for Eyefinity/OfficeMate

The content has expanded to include fixes for error messages, product and utility downloads, and Technology Integrated Practice (TIP) information. If you have a question about your Eyefinity/OfficeMate product, the knowledge base should be one of the first avenues you take to find an answer. Here are some tips to help you find the information you need in the knowledge base:

  • Check out the most popular and most recent articles on the home page of the knowledge base. Chances are good that one of the most popular articles will be helpful to you, too!
  • Use the folders on the left side of the page to find articles about, for example, ExamWRITER eDocuments or the Huvitz ExamWRITER equipment interface.
  • Click the Search tab at the top of the page to conduct a customized search for answers to your questions.
  • Click the Ask a Question! tab at the top of the page to ask our Customer Care team a question for which you are unable to find an answer in the knowledge base.

New articles are constantly being added to the knowledge base, so check back often to search for new knowledge. And, if you find a particular article interesting or helpful, be sure to leave a comment for us at the bottom of the article’s page!