It can be tempting to merely put Meaningful Use in the bucket of “government regulations” but the original intent was to empower patients with healthcare data. With many MU deadlines in the rear-view mirror, organizations are settled into a world where practice management and electronic health record systems are mission-critical infrastructure. However, patient-provider communications are more important than ever and that’s where these capabilities come together in the form of the patient portal.

EHR incentive programs like Meaningful Use and MACRA/MIPS place a high value on communicating with patients outside of the traditional telephone methods. And, it’s not just one-way communication from the practice out to patients. MACRA is driving patient access to information with the goal of empowering them and improving outcomes. Toward this end, MACRA is a major step for patient consumerism but it’s also a call for providers to make sure that accurate clinical data is quickly accessible to patients. In short, health IT has never been more important.

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