The popularity of a recent blog post, 6 tips for achieving Meaningful Use Stage 2, shows there’s a lot of interest in real-world experience and advice on this topic.

Physicians’ Alliance, Ltd. (Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S.A) just completed a whopping 61 Meaningful Use Stage 2 attestations in the third quarter of 2014. We learned more about their experience from IT Director Barbara Eberly, Physician Practice Liaison Nancy Snavely and Quality Initiatives Coordinator Vicky Martell.

Much of their sage advice echoed that from fellow Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR and FollowMyHealth® user Coastal Carolina Health Care, and they had a few additional tips to share:

1. Physicians need to champion the portal

Barbara Eberly: When we launched FollowMyHealth, we started with the usual tactics: bulk invitations, posters, temporary employees who enroll patients. But it still didn’t get us where we wanted to be. Reports showed that providers were the key to selling it. That’s when we turned the corner on patient engagement, when providers realized it had to come from them.

2. New employees adjust quickly

Nancy Snavely: Because the workflows were already established, it was easiest to adjust for providers who were new to the organization. They didn’t have old workflows to adjust and could just run with it.

3. Friendly competition fuels progress

Vicky Martell: We run individual reports for every measure for every provider, basically a dashboard with green highlights for measures they are passing, red for danger or failing…They like to see how they’re performing and it starts a little friendly competition with their peers.

Barbara Eberly: We had a few providers that were not on board in the beginning, but then they saw 50 others successfully attesting…Running and distributing frequent reports really helped everyone meet that threshold.

4. Stay informed the whole time

Barbara Eberly: TouchWorks EHR is designed to help us meet the measures and gives us the reporting we need…that’s been key to us.  Knowing where our providers are throughout the attestation period gives us the opportunity to work with those who aren’t making it.

5. MU Focus in 2015: Patient engagement & referrals

Barbara Eberly: We need to keep on target for a whole 12 months, instead of just three months.  We’re going to need to keep that patient portal and engagement going strong…On the referral side, we don’t have a lot of other providers in the area who use an electronic health record, so meeting this measure for a full year of referrals could be tough.

Thanks to the team at Physicians’ Alliance, Ltd. for this advice. Are there other tips you would add? Please share in the comments below.

Editor’s Note: If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of using TouchWorks EHR and what you can expect from the solution in 2015, Greg shares more of his thoughts in a recent video.

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About the author

Greg White is Senior Vice President and General Manager for the TouchWorks® business unit at Allscripts. His organization supports the sales, services, implementation and general operations of this business unit. Greg joined Allscripts from Cerner where he most recently served as Vice President, Managing Director of Cerner’s Middle East and Africa business since 2010. Prior to his international assignment, Greg was Vice President, General Manager responsible for Cerner’s East Region client base. He was also Cerner’s Vice President, Laboratory Outreach Development, a role in which he integrated software operations from Gajema Software, a Charlotte, NC, firm where he served as President and CEO prior to Cerner’s acquisition of Gajema in 2004. Greg began his career as co-founder and President of ExecuTrain of Florida, a software training company recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of America’s top 500 fastest-growing private firms. He sold the business in 2000. Greg holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Alabama and attended the Executive Program for Growing Companies at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

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