Only 13 RHIOs Meet Meaningful Use Criteria

Margaret Dick Tocknell, May 17, 2011

There are 75 operational RHIOs (regional health information organizations) across the U.S. but only 13 of them meet the most basic criteria for meaningful use of health information technology, according to a 2009 study by a group of Harvard University researchers.

With grant support from the federal government, RHIOs provide hospitals and physicians with a single connection to swap clinical data with other participating providers such as labs and public health departments.

To be considered meaningful, providers must have electronic health records and meet these  basic criteria for meaningful use:

  • Transmit prescriptions
  • Exchange key clinical information among care providers
  • Report clinical quality measures

The study shows that despite the promise of more than $30 billion in incentives to stimulate the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records, the U.S. remains in "an early stage of readiness in terms of the robust exchange of health information," says Julia Adler-Milstein, Ph.D., the lead author for A Survey of Health Information Exchange Organizations in the United States: Implications for Meaningful Use, which was published online Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Margaret Dick Tocknell Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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