07 February 2014

Fridays from the Archives: Meaningful Use & Ambulatory Data

Friday, February 7, 2014: Meaningful Use & Ambulatory Data

It's the first Friday of the month, which means the Meaningful Use Community Call is this afternoon (more info here). These calls act as a platform for public health practitioners to discuss their status with implementing the syndromic surveillance objective of Meaningful Use, often looking towards future Meaningful Use stages. We've had many discussions surrounding what to do with Eligible Professionals, or EPs, who are interested in submitting data. Currently, many jurisdictions are putting these EPs in queues until they have the capacity to process their data. 

But why is receiving ambulatory data an issue at all? What makes ambulatory data unique from existing Emergency Department (ED) data?

One of the largest challenges in incorporating ambulatory data is sheer volume. Corey Spears and Michelle Siefert plainly lay out this dilemma in Discovering the New Frontier of Syndromic Surveillance: A Meaningful Use Dialogue on Inpatient and Ambulatory EHR Technology. At an ED visit the patient, at least ostensibly, is encountering some type of emergency to prompt the visit. In ambulatory settings, routine visits are common. Additionally, there are a wide variety of ambulatory care providers. Do public health departments want data from internists? Almost certainly. But do they also want data from dermatologists? That's a bit less certain.

This webinar is particularly interesting because it presents the information from the perspective of EHR vendors, an important stakeholder group that has substantial investment in Meaningful Use processes.

Interested in learning more? Join our Meaningful Use Community calls and view the webinar recording on the ISDS website.

This post is part of the series Fridays from the Archives. You can access all posts in the series here.

Written by Becky Zwickl, MPH, ISDS Public Health Analyst (bzwickl@syndromic.org). 

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