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Contributing Writer · Oct 31, 2011

Clinical summary example: How to fulfill the meaningful use requirements

Providing clinical summaries (core criterion 13) is likely the most challenging aspect of Meaningful Use. The difficulty lies in the fact that the clinical summary must be delivered within three business days of the office visit for 50% of all office visits during the 90-day reporting period. As you have completed the first third of the 90-day period, you need to be sure that you are providing clinical summaries to every patient or you risk not qualifying for $18,000 this year.

Practice Fusion has implemented a fast and easy way to provide clinical summaries to your patients. By providing personal health record (PHR) access to your patients, you fulfill this challenging criterion. We recommend providing PHR access to every patient you see during the remainder of the reporting period.

How do I give PHR access?
Authorized providers and staff simply click the Enroll button on the Patient Dashboard. This prompts you to enter a patient email address, print a security PIN number and hand this information to the patient. The patient is thenceforth enrolled in the PHR.

We suggest making PHR enrollment a part of either patient check-in or check-out. This removes responsibility from the provider and doesn’t interrupt clinical workflow. Be sure that everyone in your practice has PHR enrollment rights.

What if my patient doesn’t have an email address?
Some patients may not have an email address. The government still requires that you provide a clinical summary to these patients or you will not qualify for Meaningful Use incentives. There are a few ways to address this challenge.

  1. Enroll the patient in the PHR using a caregiver’s email address. With the patient’s consent, use her caregiver’s email address for PHR enrollment. This can be done during the office visit or within 3 business days of the patient’s visit.
  2. Create a free email address for the patient. Your administrative staff can take less than two minutes to create a free email address with a service such as Google Gmail. Use this new email address to enroll the patient in the PHR.

If your patient simply cannot access the PHR and does not have a caregiver, you can print a clinical summary using Practice Fusion. This is not the ideal solution as it requires the provider to complete major portions of the chart note before the patient leaves the office. Steps to print the clinical summary are described in the video below.

Printing a clinical summary will count towards Meaningful Use, but it entails significant effort for the provider including completing the majority of the chart note before the patient leaves the office. We strongly recommend you implement the PHR solution.

Get Ahead with PHR Enrollment
Now is the perfect time to get ahead with providing PHR access. Once a patient is enrolled, she forever has access to her records and clinical summaries. This is a one-time action that makes a big difference and also counts for other Meaningful Use requirements. Further, it will get you ahead for year 2 of Meaningful Use.

We recommend performing a PHR enrollment blitz as soon as possible. The best place to start is with all of your patients who visited your office since beginning your EHR 90-day period. You can learn how to run a chart note report to know who has visited your office since the beginning of your Meaningful Use period by watching the video below.

Let Your Patients Know You Are a Digital Practice
As well as including PHR enrollment as a key part of the patient check in or check out process, market yourself as a digital practice by posting a sign offering your patients PHR access. Post signs at the check-in desk and in your waiting room. This will improve awareness of the free PHR offering and get your patients even more excited to be involved in their care.

Your Practice Can Achieve Meaningful Use
This is a critical time period for providers looking to earn up to $18,000 this year in EHR Incentives. Those providers who haven’t regularly been giving PHR access to their patients will easily fall behind in the Clinical Summary Meaningful Use requirement. By taking the actions outlined above, your practice can successfully achieve Meaningful Use.

Practice Fusion hosts daily Meaningful Use Webinars to answer all your pertinent questions about earning your incentive check. View the schedule here. You can also reach out to your Account Manager if you have any questions.