The federal government is building a database to aid in complying with electronic health records meaningful use requirements for exchanging data with public health agencies and registries.

Stages 1 and 2 of meaningful use require providers to determine the readiness of public health agencies and registries to receive electronic data from certified EHR systems. During comment on rulemaking for Stage 2, industry stakeholders suggested the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services maintain a database on readiness status to ease the burden on providers.

In the Stage 2 final rule, CMS agreed. In a notice available here, the agency says the database will serve as the definitive information source for determining public health and registry readiness. “The information will be made publicly available on the CMS Web site in order to provide a centralized repository of this information to eligible providers and eliminate their multiple individual inquiries to multiple public agencies and registries.”

CMS will query about 250 public health agencies and registries to collect the necessary data. When the database will be ready for providers isn’t known. The notice gives no anticipated start date and a CMS spokesperson did not respond to a query.

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