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Being a Meaningful User of Electronic Health Records

Electronic health records play a critical role in getting to a higher quality, safer, more effective health care system. The release of the final rules on meaningful use and standards and certification mark the official launch of the EHR in this country. Health care providers now have additional funding to support the meaningful use of electronic health records as well as guidelines that can help them implement them in a way that improves care for their patients.

Benefits of Electronic Health Records

Electronic health records and health information exchange can help clinicians provide higher quality and safer care for their patients.  By adopting electronic health records in a meaningful way, clinicians can:

  • Know more about their patients. Information in electronic health records can be used to coordinate and improve the quality of patient care.
  • Make better decisions. With more comprehensive information readily and securely available, clinicians will have the information they need about treatments and conditions even best practices for patient populations when making treatment decisions.
  • Save money. Electronic health records require an initial investment of time and money. But clinicians who have implemented them have reported reductions in the amount of time spent locating paper files, transcribing and spending time on the phone with labs or pharmacies; more accurate coding; and reductions in reporting burden.


Through the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is providing incentive payments to eligible health care professionals and hospitals who adopt certified EHR technology and achieve meaningful use.

Registration for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs began January 3, 2011.

Check out the resources below from CMS to learn more about the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs: