Eligible Hospital Defined Terms
Defined Terms for Eligible Hospitals for EHR Incentive Program
These terms are used and defined by CMS in all of the Meaningful Use Objectives for Eligible Hospitals.
Active Medication Allergy List – A list of medications to which a given patient has known allergies.
Active Medication List – A list of medications that a given patient is currently taking.
Admitted to the Emergency Department – There are two methods for calculating ED admissions for the denominators for measures associated with Stage 1 of Meaningful Use objectives. Eligible hospitals and CAHs must select one of the methods below for calculating ED admissions to be applied consistently to all denominators for the measures. That is, eligible hospitals and CAHs must choose either the “Observation Services method” or the “All ED Visits method” to be used with all measures. Providers cannot calculate the denominator of some measures using the “Observation Services method,” while using the “All ED Visits method” for the denominator of other measures. Before attesting, eligible hospitals and CAHs will have to indicate which method they used in the calculation of denominators.
- Observation Services method. The denominator should include the following visits to the ED:
- The patient is admitted to the inpatient setting (place of service (POS) 21) through the ED. In this situation, the orders entered in the ED using certified EHR technology would count for purposes of determining the computerized provider order entry (CPOE) Meaningful Use measure. Similarly, other actions taken within the ED would count for purposes of determining Meaningful Use
- The patient initially presented to the ED and is treated in the ED’s observation unit or otherwise receives observation services. Details on observation services can be found in the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual, Chapter 6, Section 20.6. Patients who receive observation services under both POS 22 and POS 23 should be included in the denominator.
- All ED Visits method. An alternate method for computing admissions to the ED is to include all ED visits (POS 23 only) in the denominator for all measures requiring inclusion of ED admissions. All actions taken in the inpatient or emergency departments (POS 21 and 23) of the hospital would count for purposes of determining meaningful use.
Allergy – An exaggerated immune response or reaction to substances that are generally not harmful.
Appropriate Technical Capabilities – A technical capability would be appropriate if it protected the electronic health information created or maintained by the certified EHR technology. All of these capabilities could be part of the certified EHR technology or outside systems and programs that support the privacy and security of certified EHR technology.
Business Days – Business days are defined as Monday through Friday excluding federal or state holidays on which the eligible hospital or CAH or their respective administrative staffs are unavailable.
Clinical Decision Support – HIT functionality that builds upon the foundation of an EHR to provide persons involved in care decisions with general and person-specific information, intelligently filtered and organized, at point of care, to enhance health and health care.
Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) – CPOE entails the provider’s use of computer assistance to directly enter medication orders from a computer or mobile device. The order is also documented or captured in a digital, structured, and computable format for use in improving safety and organization.
Diagnostic Test Results – All data needed to diagnose and treat disease. Examples include, but are not limited to, blood tests, microbiology, urinalysis, pathology tests, radiology, cardiac imaging, nuclear medicine tests, and pulmonary function tests.
Different Legal Entities – A separate legal entity is an entity that has its own separate legal existence. Indications that two entities are legally separate would include (1) they are each separately incorporated; (2) they have separate Boards of Directors; and (3) neither entity is owned or controlled by the other.
Discharge Instructions – Any directions that the patient must follow after discharge to attend to any residual conditions that need to be addressed personally by the patient, home care attendants, and other clinicians on an outpatient basis.
Distinct Certified EHR Technology – Each instance of certified EHR technology must be able to be certified and operate independently from all the others in order to be distinct. Separate instances of certified EHR technology that must link to a common database in order to gain certification would not be considered distinct. However, instances of certified EHR technology that link to a common, uncertified system or component would be considered distinct. Instances of certified EHR technology can be from the same vendor and still be considered distinct.
Exchange – Clinical information must be sent between different legal entities with distinct certified EHR technology and not between organizations that share a certified EHR technology. Distinct certified EHR technologies are those that can achieve certification and operate independently of other certified EHR technologies. The exchange of information requires that the eligible hospital or critical access hospital must use the standards of certified EHR technology as specified by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, not the capabilities of uncertified or other vendor-specific alternative methods for exchanging clinical information.
Medication Reconciliation – The process of identifying the most accurate list of all medications that the patient is taking, including name, dosage, frequency, and route, by comparing the medical record to an external list of medications obtained from a patient, hospital, or other provider.
Patient Authorized Entities – Any individual or organization to which the patient has granted access to their clinical information. Examples could include an insurance company that covers the patient, an entity facilitating health information exchange among providers, or a personal health record vendor identified by the patient. A patient would have to affirmatively grant access to these entities.
Preferred Language – The language by which the patient prefers to communicate.
Problem List – A list of current and active diagnoses as well as past diagnoses relevant to the current care of the patient.
Public Health Agency — An entity under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, tribal organization, State level and/or city/county level administration that serves a public health function.
Relevant Encounter – An encounter during which the eligible hospital or CAH performs a medication reconciliation due to new medication or long gaps in time between patient encounters or for other reasons determined appropriate by the eligible hospital or CAH. Essentially an encounter is relevant if the eligible hospital or CAH judges it to be so. (Note: Relevant encounters are not included in the numerator and denominator of the measure for this objective.)
Specific Conditions — Those conditions listed in the active patient problem list.
Transition of Care – The movement of a patient from one setting of care (hospital, ambulatory primary care practice, ambulatory specialty care practice, long-term care, home health, rehabilitation facility) to another.
Unique Patient – If a patient is admitted to an eligible hospital’s or CAH’s inpatient or emergency department (POS 21 or 23) more than once during the EHR reporting period, then for purposes of measurement that patient is only counted once in the denominator for the measure. All the measures relying on the term ‘‘unique patient’’ relate to what is contained in the patient’s medical record. Not all of this information will need to be updated or even be needed by the provider at every patient encounter. This is especially true for patients whose encounter frequency is such that they would see the same provider multiple times in the same EHR reporting period.
Up-to-date – The term ‘‘up-to-date’’ means the list is populated with the most recent diagnosis known by the eligible hospital or CAH. This knowledge could be ascertained from previous records, transfer of information from other providers, or querying the patient.