A four-hour workshop two days before the official start of HIMSS13 in New Orleans targets small physician practices and will focus on changes in the Stage 1 electronic health records meaningful program starting in 2013, as well as what is ahead in Stage 2. But Workshop A, March 2, also will delve into how staff can generate after-visit summaries for patients with little or no work by a physician.

With the workshop scheduled at 1:00 p.m. on a Saturday, Paul Kleeberg, M.D., encourages physicians to bring staff members with them, particularly from Louisiana and neighboring states. Kleeberg is CMIO at Stratis Health, the quality improvement organization for Minnesota and the regional health information technology center for Minnesota and North Dakota. The REC is federally funded under the 2009 Stimulus Law to assist physicians in adopting and optimally using EHRs.

“We’re going to show to how a small practice can utilize staff and the EHR to ensure patients have all of the information they need to understand their care and to give the information to another provider,” he explains.

There are subtle changes in Stage 1 to streamline some processes, Kleeberg notes. Previously, a single measure required documenting height and weight for all patients and blood pressure for patients over age two. Now, height and weight is a separate measure and can be exempted under certain circumstances, and blood pressure documentation is required only for age three and above. The reporting of quality measures has been streamlined and the test of information exchange, which was a token exercise at best, has been dropped.

Kleeberg hopes to leave the lasting impression that meaningful use does not have to be a meaningless regulatory exercise to physicians and staff, but can support best practices. “Meaningful use really does fit in with the way they’d like to practice medicine and work to improve care.”

The workshop has a fee of $145 per person.

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