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Meaningful use means engaging patients in EHR, too

One of the “five pillars” of meaningful use is to engage patients and their families in electronic health data. The stage one requirements of the HITECH Act, already in place, include the relatively simple tasks of sharing discharge instructions and providing patient education—electronically or by printing out the information from the patient’s electronic health record (EHR). But it’s clear that in future stages hospitals will be required to do much more, such as using remote monitoring devices and communicating with patients electronically to help them manage chronic conditions and to intervene before they require emergency care.