The combination of electronic health-record systems and clinical quality measures is supposed to improve patient care, but whether the federal program to incentivize the meaningful use of EHRs can be harnessed to boost clinical quality measures' development was a question raised Monday at a health IT policy work group meeting.
The quality measures work group of the federally chartered Health IT Policy Committee met in Washington to review its final list of recommendations to the full policy committee on the proposed rule for the Stage 2 meaningful-usecriteria issued by the CMS in February.
At issue was how clinical quality measures for physicians and other eligible professionals could best be incorporated into the Stage 2 meaningful-use requirements, expected to take effect in 2014 as part of the EHR incentive payment program.
The proposed rule solicited comments on several options. The one most favored by the work group would require eligible professionals to select and submit 12 clinical quality measures from a table of 125 possible measures. In addition, at least one measure would have to address each of six care-improvement "domains": patient and family engagement, patient safety, care coordination, population and public health, efficient use of health resources, and clinical process/effectiveness.