What is the new term Meaningful Use?
Recently, I was asked to review new applications for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) ARRA study section. During the study section some of the reviewers were discussing a set of Federal guidelines that will define the exchange of clinical data and promote interoperability. For the first time I heard this new term of meaningful use. What is this all this talk about “Meaningful Use?” Is the industry going to be adopting a model for interoperability? A new model that allows shared structured data shared across disparate communities?
It appears that Meaningful Use will significantly impact the quality of healthcare delivery by providing a definition for exchanging clinical data beginning with demographic and including clinical summaries and pathology reports. But what about imaging data? What is the plan to link images to demographic information about a patient? How will systems link with imaging data from pathology, ophthalmology and dermatology to name a few of the clinical imaging modalities used today?