The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has issued guidance on how “health information service providers” and “health information organizations” can support providers in meeting the electronic health records meaningful use criteria for transition of care measures.

Health information service providers support secure messaging of clinical information using the federally developed Direct Project protocols. A health information organization supports the exchange of health information using national standards, such as a health information exchange.

The Stage 2 measures require eligible professionals and hospitals to provide a summary of care record for more than 50 percent of transitions of care and referrals, provide the summary electronically for more than 10 percent of such transitions and referrals, and either conduct one or more successful electronic exchanges with a recipient using a different EHR vendor or conduct one or more successful tests with a government-designated test EHR.

The guidance gives specific ways for health information service providers and health information organizations to support each measure, such as seeking certification of a standalone EHR Module or partnering with one or more EHR vendors, among other scenarios. It also explains how a non-certified health information organization can transmit a summary of care record. The guidance further gives best practice recommendations that can be viewed as expectations of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services when meaningful use audits are conducted.

The guidance, available here, also complements new training modules at HealthIT.gov that are available now or soon for multiple stakeholders affected by meaningful use. Training topics include an introduction, transitions of care, exchange of laboratory data, public health exchange and the patient view/download/transmit meaningful use measure.

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