Changes to EHR Certification Due to Meaningful Use Stage 1

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Changes in the healthcare world will now become mandatory with Meaningful Use Stage 1. Many of the adjustments will affect such areas as recording blood pressure, height, and weight.


In 2014, there are several changes that will be taking effect in the medical world. Providers need to be prepared as these changes will ultimately affect both the providers and their patients.

As of 2014, a reorganized Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 1 and new EHR certification criteria will both be implemented. The current criteria of Meaningful Use Stage 1 will be combined with the new Stage 2 criteria. Both criteria will maintain the same structure as we move forward in MU. Starting in 2014, most of the new Stage 1 criteria will be mandatory.

When the 2014 Meaningful Use reporting period begins, all eligible hospitals (EH), eligible professionals (EP), and critical access hospitals (CAH) will be obligated to upgrade to the 2014 Edition EHR technology regardless of the Meaningful Use stage they have been required to meet.

The 2014 Edition EHR certification criteria includes many important updates that set new standards for the exchange of electronic health records and patient interaction. The changes include:

  • Changes to the age limits for recording blood pressure.
  • Alterations to the omission of height, weight, and blood pressure.
  • Changes to the number of orders created by the EP (denominators) in Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE).
  • Elimination of the “exchange of key clinical information” objective from Stage 1 in favor of “transitions of care”.  This objective calls for the electronic exchange of summary care documents in Stage 2.
  • Replacement of the objective to “provide patients with an electronic copy of their health information” with “view online, download, and transmit”.

Ensuring that the EHR technology is certified is crucial to the successful attainment of Stage 1 or State 2 in Meaningful Use. EHR vendors and healthcare providers alike need to prepare themselves for the changes of 2014.

Author: Lauren Daniels