The concept of Meaningful Use was introduced in the United States in 2009 to incent healthcare providers and their institutions to adopt certified Electronic Health Records (EHR) technologies and use them in qualitatively and quantitatively measurable ways. Meaningful Use criteria aim to achieve better clinical outcomes, improve population health, increase transparency and system efficiencies, offer greater research data on health systems, and empower patients in their own care.
Related to Meaningful Use is the concept of Appropriateness of Care. The attraction to new treatment options and technologies must be tempered with the reality of decreasing healthcare funding, while the need to deliver a high quality standard of healthcare to patients remains constant. More than ever, decisions for clinical care must be rooted in outcomes-based research and demonstrate cost-effective management of limited resources.
New value-based technologies are needed that are in sync with Meaningful Use criteria and Appropriateness of Care so that better system efficiencies can be realized while optimal patient care is delivered. This can best be accomplished through the continuous evaluation of quality and processes to identify opportunities for improvement.