Minnesota's 2015 Interoperable Electronic Health Record Mandate
Policymakers in Minnesota have recognized that more effective use of health information technology, including timely exchange of information, is needed to improve quality and safety of care as well as to help control costs. In 2007, Minnesota enacted legislation that requires all health care providers in the state to implement an interoperable electronic EHR system by January 1, 2015 (Minn. Stat. §62J.495).
The Minnesota e-Health Advisory Committee and MDH recommend that all providers demonstrate progress toward achieving the EHR and interoperability requirements. Potential benefits of compliance may include:
• increased efficiency and quality outcomes;
• improved ability to avoid adverse events; and
• timely access to information from your patients’ other providers.
As health care providers make progress toward the safe, secure and interoperable exchange of health data, our Minnesota health care system will be better positioned to achieve the greater vision of health care reform.
See a list of frequently asked questions regarding Minnesota's 2015 Mandate for Interoperable Electronic Health Records (PDF) for further guidance.
What types of health and health care providers are required to comply with the mandate?
A provider is any health care provider who provides a service that could be reimbursed by medical assistance, whether or not they accept these patients or receive payment for the service. See table 1 of the guidance document (PDF) for a list of impacted providers.
What are the requirements of the EHR system?
The EHR must be certified by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC). If a provider does not have a certified EHR available for their setting, then the provider must have a qualified EHR, as defined in the statute and the guidance document (PDF).
What are the interoperability requirements?
Interoperability is the ability of two or more systems or components to exchange information and to use the information that has been exchanged accurately, securely and verifiably, when and where needed. The 2015 Mandate also defines interoperability through the requirement of connecting to a State-Certified Health Information Exchange (HIE) Service Provider.
Where can I find the exact language of the law?
Minnesota Statute §62F.495 (Electronic Health Record Technology) is available at this link: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=62J.495. The guidance document (PDF) also has this language.
Where I can find assistance to implement an EHR system?
To achieve interoperable EHRs by 2015, it is helpful to determine where a provider or setting currently is on the continuum of EHR adoption (see model below). This is because the mandate includes both EHR and interoperability requirements.
MDH has several resources to help you implement an interoperable EHR:
- Statewide Plan for Interoperable EHRs : Includes a framework of what progress looks like for achieving the mandate
- Practical Guides:
Addressing Common Barriers (PDF)
Recommended Standards (PDF)
Electronic Prescribing (PDF)
Effective Use of EHR Systems (PDF)
A Practical Guide to Understanding HIE
- The Office of Health Information Technology (OHIT) at the Minnesota Department of Health, along with the Regional Extension Assistance Center for Health IT (REACH), educates and provides technical assistance when appropriate to promote adoption and effective use of EHR systems as well as health information exchange.
- Minnesota e-Health and Health Reform - information on programs that support e-health and health reform in Minnesota including the Minnesota e-Health Roadmaps. OHIT and Stratis Health will partner during the next one and a half years to develop the MN e-Health Roadmaps for local public health, social services, long-term and post-acute care, and behavioral health settings. The roadmaps will describe a path forward and a framework for providers of a particular setting to effectively use e-health to participate in the Minnesota Accountable Health Model.
- Minnesota Health Information Technology Toolkits include a variety of resources such as tools, webinars and reference documents to help providers plan and make the right choices for their agency to achieve success in today’s health care environment. The tools focus on e-health functionality, people, policy, and processes for success in a specific health care setting including local public health, social services, long-term and post-acute care, and behavioral health.
- The Office of Rural Health and Primary Care at the Minnesota Department of Health occasionally administers grants or loan programs to support the implementation or support of interoperable EHR systems.
- Associations – find out if your care setting has an association, often the association will have a health information technology (HIT) committee and/or may provide specific guidance on EHR adoption and use for that care setting.