A good many family physicians have implemented electronic health records (EHRs) in their practices and are working diligently to meet meaningful use stage one requirements established by the federal government.
Meanwhile, meaningful use stage two requirements -- already defined and poised to take effect in mid-2014 -- lurk on the horizon.
To help physicians get up-to-speed with meaningful use stage two requirements, TransforMED's Delta-Exchange network is offering a free webinar titled "Meaningful Use Stage 2: Second Wave or Tsunami?" on March 27 at 1 p.m. CDT.
The webinar will be hosted by Jason Mitchell, M.D., director of the AAFP Center for Health IT. An archived version will be maintained on the TransforMED website.
"We're currently in the middle of stage one, so family physicians need to keep doing what they're doing to comply with the regulations. But they need to begin preparations for meaningful use stage two by the middle of this year," says Mitchell. "It's more than just installing an upgrade on your computer."
The upcoming webinar creates an opportunity for Mitchell to ease family physicians' concerns about compliance with additional -- and sometimes confusing -- regulations. "Stage two can be pretty overwhelming because it includes all of stage one with more added on," says Mitchell. "I want to put the information that family physicians need to know in a context they can get their heads around."
One of the most challenging new elements in stage two is the emphasis on patient participation. "Stage two really focuses on getting patients involved, and there are specific requirements that only patients can fulfill," says Mitchell. He intends to, among other things, show physicians how to encourage patient engagement in this process.
Mitchell has extensive expertise in health information technology and is more than qualified to guide family physicians through the meaningful use maze. In addition to serving as the AAFP's point person for issues related to medical office automation and computerization, he has counseled countless AAFP members about EHR selection, implementation and optimization.
Mitchell maintains membership in a number of health IT-focused organizations and, in 2004, founded a company named mPOWER Medical Informatics to help maximize the efficiency and accuracy of health IT applications in clinical practice settings.
First and foremost a family physician, Mitchell also provides primary care access to uninsured adult patients at the Jackson County Free Health Clinic in Independence, Mo.
Related ANN Coverage
What Does Meaningful Use Stage Two Final Rule Mean for FPs?
AAFP Looks at Positives and Negatives of Recently Released Rule