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.

Why I Work in the Eyecare Industry

Michael O. is Sr. Technical Writer for Eyefinity/OfficeMate

Michael O. is Sr. Technical Writer for Eyefinity/OfficeMate

I love working in the eyecare industry because I am so deeply indebted to it.

Most people don’t believe me when I tell them that I have worn hard contact lenses since I was a month old. You see, I was born with cataracts, and after undergoing four corrective surgeries as an infant, I am now aphakic. For those of you who follow this blog but are not doctors, aphakia is the technical term for having the natural crystalline lenses in one’s eyes surgically removed. While contact lenses are still the standard method of optical correction, these days, a cataract patient’s natural lens may be surgically replaced by a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL) Thirty years ago, IOLs were far too risky and expensive, thereby making contact lenses my only option.

Many people take sight for granted. You have no idea how precious sight is until your contact lenses are accidentally thrown out on Christmas Eve, or you can’t drive because you dropped a contact down the drain. Work can be interrupted. Vacations can be ruined. The possibility of suddenly not being able to see, which probably doesn’t occur to many people, keeps me on my toes.

The miracles of modern medicine and advances in eyecare have afforded me the opportunity to live a normal life. Of course, normal to me involves cleaning and securely storing my contact lenses every night and fussing with reading glasses everywhere I go. These are small prices to pay, however, considering that in past eras, my sight couldn’t have been saved at all.

It pleases me to write documentation for a company that supports what I would consider to be a noble industry, and I am proud to work with optometrists and ophthalmologists who have helped improve the daily lives of millions of people like me.

Eyewear Promotions Aims to Strengthen Your Practice

Today’s entry comes from Kirk Poole, Practice Management Specialist for Eyefinity/OfficeMate:

Looking for ways to increase your web presence?  Is your practice not showing up in online searches, or could it use a boost to get into the top listings?  Eyefinity/Officemate has the tool to help you: EyewearPromotions.com!

EyewearPromotions.com is a new consumer-facing web site that gives private practice the tools to compete with retail.  It starts with a heavy advertising campaign utilizing Google and Yahoo sponsored search that drives consumers to the web site, which offers them great deals on designer frames, sunwear, premium lenses, contacts, and more. To take advantage of these offers, consumers can locate a local participating provider through a zip code search tool on EyewearPromotions.com. It even links out to your eWeb Extra site, and the consumer sees that same appealing promotions, which are automatically updated and added to your practice’s site.

You can also download the signage and display it in your practice to increase sales to your existing patients.  This will help ensure consistency and continuity of the promotion both online and in your practice.

Because your eWeb Extra site is connected with EyewearPromotions.com, your site’s status raises with search engine optimization.  Your web site traffic will increase, and more patients will discover the value that your practice can offer them.  Did you know that 42% of consumers looking for an optometrist last year found them on the internet? With statistics like that, doesn’t it make sense to make your presence on the web the best it can be? With eWeb Extra and EyewearPromotions.com, you can’t miss.

For more information, please email or call us at: Eyefinity-InsideSales@eyefinityofficemate.com or 877-448-0707.

VSP Global Spark – Practice Makeover Webisodes Hosted by Eyefinity’s Steve Baker!

Looking for cost-effective ways to update your eyecare practice without breaking the bank? VSP Global can help! Designed to help ignite the success of private practices, VSP Global Spark shows how making a few small updates to your practice can deliver big results.

Visit http://www.vspglobal.com/spark to watch the first makeover webisode!

Hosted by Eyefinity’s President, Steve Baker, VSP Global Spark features a series of webisodes which explore a low-cost makeover completed in just 72 hours to increase profitability and success.

Visit www.vspglobal.com/spark to view the first webisode now and check back often to see new webisodes, makeover tips and tutorials.  Check out the trailer for VSP Global Spark below:

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.

Electronic Medical Records – Poll Time!

San Jose Mercury News Editorial: “Obama promise could falter on eye, dental care”

Yesterday, the San Jose Mercury News ran an editorial on the potential impacts that healthcare reform could have on vision and dental benefits. Give it a read below. Got an opinion on this? Share it by leaving us a comment!

SJ Mercury News Editorial: Obama promise could falter on eye, dental care

A major health care reform promise by President Barack Obama is in danger of going down the drain without so much as a whimper from the White House.

Obama has said repeatedly that the government “is not going to make you change plans or your doctor under health reform.” But unless he or the Senate forces a change in legislation the House passed earlier this month, the parents of 40 million to 50 million children throughout the United States will see a disruption in the way their dental and vision benefits are administered — with little or no cost-benefit to the federal government.

A relatively obscure provision of the House bill would not impact adults, but it would force parents to buy children’s dental and vision insurance from medical insurers. That would mean the nearly 300,000 children in Santa Clara County who are insured through specialty carriers such as Delta Dental or VSP would have to switch to a medical carrier that may or may not permit their children to see their own dentist or eye doctor.

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