Essay On Meaningful Use

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Meaningful use

Meaningful use is a health information technology that defines minimum U.S government standards when it comes to using electronic health records as well as exchanging patient clinical data between different healthcare providers (Rippen, 2013). Meaningful use is intended to improve quality, efficiency, and safety as well as help to reduce health disparities. Secondly, it engages patients as well a family and improves care coordination and population amongst those in public health (Rippen, 2013). Meaningful use is also important because it maintains privacy as well as a security of patient health information. Meaningful sets specific objectives that eligible professionals and hospitals must achieve to qualify for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services (CMS) incentive programs (United States Congress, 2010).

Meaningful use is divided into three stages. The first stage focuses on the adoption of EHRs. The requirement in this stage captures patient data and shares the data either with the patient or with other healthcare professionals (Rippen, 2013). It is critical to realize that eligible professionals and hospitals must successful attest to Stage 1 reporting periods before they move on to stage two. The second stage is the CMS HER incentive program, and it uses advanced clinical processes.

The requirements in this stage are often focused on health information exchange between providers and it promote patient engagement by giving the patients a secure online access to their health information. The third stage is intended to focus on a robust health information exchange as well as other more fully formed meaningful use guidelines that have been introduced in earlier stages (Trotter & Uhlman, 2011).

It is of importance to realize that while meaningful use is voluntary, it has been referred to by many people as a carrot and stick program whose penalties often provide a strong economic compulsion to participate. However, because the meaningful use can be said to be technically voluntary, meaningful use criteria are therefore considered to be guidelines a opposed to meaningful use regulations.

Ultimately it is hoped that indeed the meaningful use compliance will result in improved population health outcome, increased efficiency, and transparency, empower individuals, and create a more robust research data on health systems. The Healthcare providers can only prove compliance regarding meaningful use while using government-certified HER technology that is commonly referred to as CEHRT (Trotter & Uhlman, 2011). While there is often little validation that is required to attest to meaningful use, the providers who have attested are often subject to random audit. Therefore, keeping detailed documentation to prove meaningful use can be said to be extremely important to pass the random audits.

In conclusion, meaningful use defines standards that are important in sharing of data between healthcare provider, and insurance companies. The technology aims at improving quality, efficiency and reduces related health disparities. There are three stages in meaningful use, and the objectives of the technology evolve in the three stages. The first stage is in regards to data capturing and sharing, the second stage involves advanced clinical processes, and the third stage is in regards to improved outcomes (Trotter & Uhlman, 2011). The last stage is set to be operation by the end of the year 2016. Therefore, those that are eligible for the Medicaid program should demonstrate meaningful use by the year 2016 I order for them to receive the incentive payment. This will empower individuals, increase transparency and efficiency as well as create a robust research data that is based on health systems.


Trotter, F., & Uhlman, D. (2011). Meaningful use and beyond. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly.
Rippen, H., Scott, D. M., Hartley, C. P., & American Medical Association. (2013). A guide to achieving meaningful use: Leverage your EHR to redesign workflows and improve outcomes.
United States. (2010). Meaningful use and critical access hospitals: A primer on HIT adoption in the rural health care setting.