To assist with navigating the Meaningful Use and Standards and Certification Criteria Final Rules, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology has developed and released new grids “that reflect the new mapping of Meaningful Use Stage 1 and Stage 2 objectives, measures, and exclusions.”

The program offers incentive payments to hospitals and physician offices for adopting and using electronic health records (EHR) in a meaningful fashion, as defined by the federal government. The ONC sets the criteria for the program, and the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides the funding.

The criterion for Stage 2 was released in August. While the first stage focused on setting up an EHR system, Stage 2 seeks to increase the exchange of health information between providers and give patients secure online access to their records. Participants must also create a system to track medications from order to administration.

CMS gave hospitals and physician offices an extra year, until 2014, to adopt the Stage 2 requirements.