The 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, is one of the many measures taken by the Federal Government to improve and modernize the infrastructure of our nation’s health care delivery system. One key component of the act was to develop “meaningful use” (MU) criteria that would be used to ensure that electronic health records (EHR ) technology is connected in a manner that provides for the electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of care.
On September 26, 2010, final federal rules for implementing an interoperable and standardized health record became effective. Under the direction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), the public health community is in the process of defining the role it will play in its efforts to meet MU. Ultimately, the successful adoption of MU will reduce health disparities and improve chronic disease management in America.
The public health community will participate in the adoption of EHR and MU by assessing and ensuring electronic delivery of information in the Immunization Information Systems (IIS), in electronic laboratory reporting (ELR) and in syndromic surveillance.
The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), is currently working towards ensuring its readiness to receive these data and ensure that its community health partners meet MU certification. MU is a mandate of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), therefore NJDOH is not a designated certifying authority. DOH can only provide information about whether the data being sent meet current public health needs and reporting requirements.
DOH is encouraging the reporting of immunization data to meet meaningful use criteria as the New Jersey Immunization Information System (NJIIS) registry regulations go into effect January 1, 2012. Per New Jersey law, all providers who administer vaccine(s) to children seven years of age and under are required to report the doses administered into NJIIS, within 30 days of administering the vaccine.
In order to satisfy the Public Health Meaningful Use Criteria, eligible hospitals and providers should deliver information in one of the following areas to NJDOH:
- Immunization Reporting (Providers and Hospitals)
- Syndromic Surveillance (Hospitals –Emergency Department Data only)
- Electronic Laboratory Reporting (Hospitals only)
Eligible providers will have to satisfy the Immunization reporting criterion. Eligible Hospitals may choose any of the 3 above criteria.
Please look at the following FAQs for technical information about connecting with the individual NJDOH systems, testing and reporting:
For more information on achieving Meaningful Use and the Medicaid and Medicare incentives you can visit these web sites: