With thousands of dollars riding on the line, physicians around the country are trying to figure out how to successfully attest for Meaningful Use (MU). Some pretty complex criteria have been set forth for what defines a meaningful user of an electronic health record (EHR) system. As practices work toward attesting, it’s always helpful to look to other practices that have already attested for advice.
At Software Advice, we recently caught up with a practice in our hometown of Austin, TX, Premier Family Physicians, that just completed their seventh eligible provider attestation. All together, the company has received $108,000 with $308,000 more
to be disbursed over the next five years. When we spoke with Dr. Kevin Spencer, we wanted to know what he found helpful during the process of attesting. Dr. Spencer shared three things that he thought were essential to successfully attesting.
Dr. Spencer’s tips for attesting were:
- Choosing the right EHR software company;
- Undergoing meaningful use training; and,
Changing documentation processes to fit meaningful use guidelines.Choosing the right EHR vendor is the logical, and critical, first step. Attesting for MU requires following fifteen very specific criteria. As a result, it’s incredibly helpful to choose a vendor that will train you on how to track compliance with MU. Because operating in compliance with meaningful use criteria is an empty benefit if it isn’t properly tracked.
Many vendors offer seminars to help train a practice in the various components of meaningful use. If you’ve already made the time and financial investment in setting up an EHR, attending a seminar is well worth the additional investment.
Of course, proper training doesn’t really help if you’re not willing to take the necessary measures to work hard and reap the benefits of your EHR system. In addition to working hard to meet MU standards, Dr. Spencer and his practice have started to incorporate their EHR data into their daily practice more thoroughly. Doing so has given them a much stronger sense of patient outcomes and how they can best help patients.
The final point that Dr. Spencer had to share was that every practice needs someone who’s willing to champion the process. They need an individual who will drive organizational change and be there to coordinate training sessions with the EHR vendor and ensure MU criteria are met. Think of it as an EHR cheerleader of sorts. Having this person on the staff can be a critical motivator and enabler for success.
Those were Dr. Spencer’s key to success, but it’d be great if others can share their experiences with attesting. What advice do you have to offer? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
This article is an adaptation from another work featured on the Software Advice blog. You can view the original at How to Attest for Meaningful Use (MU): 3 Tips from a Meaningful User.