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Barsell1Meaningful UseI completed my internship this quarter at Hematology & Oncology Consultants P.C. I firstlearned about Meaningful Use in this office. Utilizing electronic health records (EHRs) for this purpose fascinated me. The best definition I can give for meaningful use is simply providers showing they are using the certified EHRs technology in more ways than just for patient records.For example, the organization that I worked with sent out reminders for the patients to get the fluvaccine. The meaningful use part is when I accessed the patients EHR and noted that the reminder for the flu vaccine had been sent. There are five underlying principles that are driving meaningful use. Improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of care while reducing disparities; engage patients and families in their care; promote public and population health; improve care coordination; and lastly, to promote theprivacy and security of patient information. In my opinion, these five principles sound similar to the advantages of converting to EHRs.In July 2010, the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule establishing three stages of the Incentive Program. Stage 1 of the EHR Incentive program began in 2011. Stages 2 and 3 will be established in the future by CMS. After 2015, all Medicare eligible professionals and hospitals must meet meaningful use or be financially penalized.