Meeting the Transitions of Care Measure for Meaningful Use

By: Leigh Sterling, etHIN Executive Director

ethin_logoOne of the most important purposes of electronic health information exchange is to facilitate the seamless, secure handoff of patient summary care records between healthcare providers during care transitions. Unfortunately, these important Meaningful Use Transitions of Care objectives may also cause many issues for providers when working to demonstrate the ability to electronically transmit and receive patient information to and from external locations.

Measures 12 and 15 of Meaningful Use state that Eligible Hospitals and Eligible Providers who transition their patients to another setting or provider of care, or who refer their patients to another provider of care, should provide a summary care record for targeted percentages of their patients.

Many of you are involved in transitions of care on a daily basis. Let’s create a scenario for the purpose of this discussion: A patient visits her primary care provider (PCP) for a routine visit. The patient is referred by the PCP to a specialist for a consultation, and a condition is then diagnosed requiring surgery. The patient is subsequently admitted to the hospital for surgery, performed by the specialist. During the post-surgical follow up with the specialist, the patient is instructed to return to her PCP for follow up care. It is critical to understand that a care transition occurs each step along the way, and each transition requires the exchange of patient information.

etHIN’s DirectSX product enables the secure sending and receiving of the patient’s PHI, simply and efficiently, even by clinicians who are not using an integrated EMR solution.

DirectSX is a secure e-mail system designed specifically for the exchange of personal health information and communication between healthcare providers. A low-cost solution, DirectSX also mitigates the risks found in historical methods of exchange, such as faxing, by providing a simple, secure way for participating health care providers to share information directly with one another. Providers using EHR technology and having the ability to create Patient Summary of Care(C-CDA) records may be working toward either Measure 12 or 15 of Meaningful Use. DirectSX, whether integrated or portal based, may be used to securely send Patient Summary of Care documents for care transitions and referrals, allowing you to meet those Measures.

If you are looking for a secure method to communicate electronically with your peers regarding common patient care, or if implementing the steps needed to meet Meaningful Use seems challenging, etHIN may be able to help. For more information, contact etHIN at 865-691-8433.