Meeting the 3 Trickiest Meaningful Use Core Objectives

Achieving the Meaningful Use core objectives for Stage 2 is no small task. It’s not like baseball, where batting .300 means you’re doing great. Meeting even most of the 17 objectives will leave you without an incentive payment. It’s literally all or nothing.

Some of the objectives are easy to hit out of the park, but others are sweeping curveballs that can strike out the best of them. Michael Pepe, EHR project manager at CareCloud, identified the CPOE, clinical summaries and patient education objectives as three of the most difficult Meaningful Use core objectives to accomplish.

But with the right approach, these curveballs are easier to handle.


This objective took a huge measurement jump for Stage 2. More than 60% of medication, 30% of laboratory and 30% of radiology orders created by an EP during the recording period now need to be recorded using CPOE.

“The main problem with CPOE is order entry specifically,” said Pepe, “For Stage 2, the hurdle is that you really need to look for an EHR that has order sets.”

You don’t want to have to click through too many things just to create an order. This increases the chance for errors and frustration. Order sets allow you to build orders for a specific type of patient or diagnosis. That way, your order is basically complete with a single click of the mouse.

Clinical Summaries

Clinical summaries need to be provided to patients or patient-authorized representatives within one business day for more than 50% of office visits. “This is the objective people have the most trouble with,” said Pepe.

He said the difficulties are mostly due to office workflow issues.

“There’s a misconception that the provider actually has to have the note complete before printing out the summary,” said Pepe, “But as long as you’re updating her […] you can go ahead and have the front desk person print it out at checkout.”

It’s also important to remember that the measure is encounter-based, not unique patient-based.

Patient Education

The patient education measure for Stage 2 requires that 10% of all unique patients need to be provided with patient-specific education identified by certified EHR technology.

Most EHRs make patient education materials available via the patient portal, so getting patients to access the portal is the key to meeting this objective. “I would start talking to patients about it,” said Pepe.  He suggests making them aware of the portal and highlighting its benefits, with patient education being one of them.

Don’t let any of these three Meaningful Use core objectives stand in the way of receiving your Meaningful Use incentive. It would hurt to get so close only to fall just short of your goal.

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