In health IT, the legal and regulatory framework often affects our ability to implement clinical information systems in an optimal way. Sometimes we feel a step behind with compliance to ICD-10, meaningful use stages, ACA, PQRS, HIPAA, HITECH, and others. Understandably.
Rushed schedules, constant meetings, and other activities that use up all of our thinking power make reading and understanding regulations appalling. However, as a clinical informaticist, you must understand these regulations and be able to lead your organization through the changes they require.
On the exam, legal and regulatory issues will come up. It’s practically guaranteed.. In the core content for clinical informatics, this topic is mentioned in the fundamentals of informatics, the health system, clinical decision making and care process improvement and IT systems. That leaves leadership and managing change as the sole section of the clinical informatics core content that does not have a regulatory component to it.
Anyways….into this week’s practice question for the clinical informatics subspecialty board exam.
Q. The regulation that enacted requirements for Electronic Health Records to improve quality, safety, and efficiency, engage patients and families, improve care coordination, and maintain security and privacy of PHI, among others is known as:
B. Meaningful Use
Answer and Explanation
A. HITECH or Meaningful use is only one part of the HITECH act. In particular, the pieces of HITECH are:
- Part A – Improving Health Care Quality, Safety, and Efficiency (here’s where meaningful use is outlined)
- Part B – Testing of Health Information Technology
- Part C – Grants and Loans Funding
- Part D – Privacy
B. Meaningful use is just one part of the HITECH act – the act which required eligible providers (EPs) and eligible hospitals to use EHRs in a “meaningful” way. “Meaningful” has been interpreted to mean the use of EHRs to improve quality, safety, and efficiency, engage patients and families, improve care coordination, and maintain security and privacy of PHI with the intent of improving clinical outcomes, population health outcomes, transparency and efficiency, individual empowerment, and robustness of research data and health systems.
C. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka ACA, Obamacare, affordable care act) is a federal status that aims to increase the quality and affordability health insurance, lower the uninsured rate by expanding insurance coverage, and reduce the costs of healthcare for individuals and the government.
D. HIPAA or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protects health insurance coverage for workers and their families if they lose (or change) jobs and establishes standards for electronic health care transaction and establishes national identifiers for providers, insurance plans, and employers.
Therefore, the correct answer to this question is A. HITECH. If you answered B. Meaningful Use, just remember that it is only a part of a broader regulation – the HITECH act.
If you’re looking for other study resources, check out some of our other practice questions of the week. You can also purchase our text – Clinical Informatics Board Review: Pass the Exam the First Time. It’s the only board review book for the clinical informatics exam and will save you a whole lot of time scouring the internet on the information you need to pass the exam. It also comes with a money back guarantee if you don’t pass the exam on your first attempt.
To learn more about these topics, check out the following websites for more information.