Health Information Technology and the Minnesota e-Health Initiative - CHS Admin Handbook - Minnesota Dept. of Health

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Health Information Technology and the Minnesota e-Health Initiative

Interoperable Electronic Health Record (EHR) Requirements by 2015
Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records
Key Resources


E-health activities in Minnesota are coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) through the Minnesota e-Health Initiative, a public-private collaborative that represents the Minnesota health and health care community's commitment to prioritize resources and to achieve Minnesota's e-health mandates. The Minnesota e-Health Initiative is guided by a 25-member Advisory Committee representing health care providers, payers, public health professionals, consumers and others. The initiative fulfills the statutory role of the e-Health Advisory Committee and has set the gold standard nationally for a model public-private partnership. Additional coordination is provided by the staff of the Office of Health Information Technology (OHIT) and is part of MDH's overall efforts in protecting, maintaining and improving the health of all Minnesotans.

Since 2004, the Minnesota e-Health Initiative, the Minnesota e-Health Advisory Committee, working groups and dedicated volunteer participants have provided leadership in the state and nation for the adoption and effective use of interoperable EHR systems and health information technology (HIT). The ongoing vision and efforts are focused on using EHRs and other health information technology to improve health care quality, increase patient safety, reduce health care costs, and enable individuals and communities to make the best possible health decisions. The Minnesota e-Health Initiative seeks to:

  • Empower consumers with information and tools to help make informed health and medical decisions.
  • Inform and connect health care providers by promoting the adoption of EHRs, effectively using clinical decision support, and achieving interoperable EHRs.
  • Protect communities and improve public health by advancing efforts to achieve interoperable public health systems and population health goals.
  • Modernize the infrastructure and increase workforce informatics competencies through adoption of standards for health information exchange; policies for strong privacy and security protection; supporting informatics education, funding and other resources; and assessing and monitoring progress on adoption, use and interoperability.

Interoperable Electronic Health Record (EHR) Requirements by 2015

Minn. Stat. § 62J.495 requires the Commissioner of Health to develop a plan for the state to achieve the statutory mandate that all providers and hospitals have in place "an interoperable electronic health records system within their hospital system or clinical practice setting." The plan, A Prescription for Meeting Minnesota's 2015 Interoperable Electronic Health Record Mandate— Minnesota's Statewide Implementation Plan (2008), was developed through the Minnesota e-Health Initiative and released in June 2008. The plan represents a community-wide consensus for advancing interoperable EHR systems in all settings across the state in order to fulfill the following statutory mandates:

  • Effective January 1, 2011 all providers, group purchasers, prescribers, and dispensers must have established, maintained, and used an electronic prescription drug program. This program must comply with the applicable standards in this section for transmitting, directly or through an intermediary, prescriptions and prescription-related information using electronic media (Minn. Stat. § 62J.497)
  • Requirement for all hospitals and health care providers to have an interoperable electronic health records system in their hospital system or clinical practice setting by January 1, 2015, including uniform standards to be used for the interoperable system for sharing and synchronizing patient data across systems.

Minnesota Model for Interoperable Electronic Health Records

The Minnesota Model from Minnesota's Statewide Implementation Plan (2008) divides the 2015 mandate into manageable steps and applies across organizational settings.


Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records

In 2009, Congress passed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act). The HITECH Act authorizes the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to make incentive payments to eligible professionals and eligible hospitals demonstrating "meaningful use" of certified EHR technology, including certain objectives specific to public health. Meaningful Use will be implemented in three stages beginning in 2011 and the duration of stages will depend on when an eligible professional/hospital chooses to apply for incentives. Meaningful Use for Stage 1 includes two sets of requirements: a set of 15 required core objectives that form a foundation for meaningful use of EHRs, and a separate menu of 10 additional elements from which providers need to choose at least five to implement. Although providers have flexibility in choosing menu set options, at least one of the five options must be specific to public health.

Key Resources

Public Health Reporting for Meaningful Use

Further Resources

Electronic Health Record (EHR) Guides

  1. Addressing Common Barriers to EHR Adoption: A Practical Guide for Health Care Providers (PDF)
  2. Standards Recommended to Achieve Interoperability in Minnesota (PDF)
  3. A Practical Guide to Electronic Prescribing, Edition 2 (PDF)
  4. A Practical Guide to Effective Use of EHR Systems (PDF)
  5. A Practical Guide to Understanding HIE, Assessing Your Readiness, and Selecting HIE Options in Minnesota (PDF)

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