The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has issued new guidance for health information organizations on how to support providers in enabling patients to view, download and transmit their electronic health records data, a new requirement in Stage 2 of the EHR meaningful use program.

Health Information Organizations, or HIOs, generally are entities that offer secure messaging software using Direct Project protocols. The guidance reviews the requirements to offer view/download/transfer and to have five percent of unique patients get their information and five percent to send a secure message to their physician, associated EHR certification requirements, and other considerations for HIOs on supporting providers such as documentation that may be required if a provider is audited for meaningful use compliance. The guidance document explains what the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will require in an audit.

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