EHR Use from the Physician Assistant Perspective

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I have written in the past that I was chosen as a “super user” of our hospital’s EHR. I tend to gravitate towards new technology, excited by new toys, and their application in hopefully making my life better and easier fascinate me.


In healthcare, we want to make our patients lives’ better and safer, and this is the promise of EHRs. There has been a lot of attention placed on the EHR by the federal government in recent years. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, provides monetary incentives to physicians and others though CMS for the adoption of EHRs that meet what is known as meaningful use. Meaningful use has 15 required core components (e.g., e-prescribing, electronic exchange of medical information, active medication list, etc.) and a menu set recommendation (you must have five out of 10 components).


The EHR must be certified by CMS to make the practice eligible for incentive payments. Unfortunately, physician assistants were not included in HITECH except in “PA-led” rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers. The American Academy of Physician Assistants, along with U.S.

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