By Genevieve Douglas
A new service that allows individuals to create universal advance digital
directives for free and then makes them accessible through a secure database to
hospitals and health care providers has been certified for use in the
“meaningful use” incentive program.
The electronic health record module, called MyDirectives.com, can be paired
with complete EHR systems to fulfill the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive
program criteria requiring the recording of advance directives, according to a
May 15 press release from ADVault Inc.
The advance directive EHR module addresses a gap in health IT solutions to
allow for electronic recording of advance directive data while also empowering
patients and working toward patient-centered care, Jeff Zucker, chief executive
officer of ADVault, told BNA May 18.
The advance digital directive consolidates the necessary legal forms needed
to create an advance directive document, and gives individuals the ability to
use audio and video messages for their advance care plan, Zucker said.
Advance medical directives are documents that give instructions about future
medical treatment preferences in case an individual becomes unable to make
decisions or communicate, or if a court determines that person to be
Consumer-created advance directives are able to more accurately reflect
patients' wishes, because they include answers to qualitative questions, such as
patient treatment goals or religious preferences, Zucker said.
Although MyDirectives.com was not created in response to “meaningful use”
criteria, the creators of the technology support the technology's inclusion and
believe that electronic advance directives should be increasingly required for
patients as part of meaningful use.
Meaningful use criteria for certified EHRs will encourage hospitals to pursue
advance directives and give providers “an economic value to do the right thing
for their patients and their patients' families,” Scott Brown, president of
ADVault, told BNA.
Proposed criteria for Stage 2 of the EHR incentive programs include optional
objectives that would require providers to have an advance directive status
recorded as structured data for 50 percent of all patients 65 or older.
ADVault plans to work with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health
Information Technology's HIT Policy Committee on Stage 3 meaningful use criteria
to reach these goals, Zucker said.
In comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, ADVault
requested that the agency follow the recommendation of the HIT Policy Committee
and make advance directives a mandatory requirement of Stage 2.
“These objectives are achievable today without unduly burdening eligible
professionals, eligible hospitals, or critical access hospitals,” according to
Information on MyDirectives.com is available at http://mydirectives.com/.
The ADVault comments are available at http://op.bna.com/hl.nsf/r?Open=gdos-8uhme8.