Comfort Measures: A Meaningful Use Requirement

Michael DiBella, MD CMO; Michael Sanders, MD CMIO

June 12, 2012

The Health Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) decides standard content for reporting on clinical quality measures.

What is the Medicare/Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Final Rule?

Click here to view the document that specifies initial CMS criteria for hospitals in order to meet MU stage 1 eligibility.

What is the Standards and Certification Criteria Final Rule?

Click here to view the document that specifies the set of standards, specifications, and certification criteria for Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology established by the Office of the National Coordinator.

Meaningful Use (MU) Requirement: Comfort Measures:

  • Comfort Care (Comfort Measures Only) - A range of interventions intended to provide relief of pain and/or suffering, control symptoms, reduce anxiety and provide comprehensive physical, psychological and spiritual support to patients. Such care is often referred to as "palliative" care - care which serves to relieve or alleviate without attempting to cure.
  • Only a patient who is currently a DNR or who is being made a DNR at the time could also be placed in the "Comfort Measures Only" status.
  • When determined by the attending physician, a "Comfort Measures Only" may be ordered. A workflow change will occur to consistently capture the order electronically within the EHR, to meet the standard of care definitions and MU requirements.
  • If anyone on the medical staff is in need of assistance with the "Comfort Measures Only" decision, the Flagler Hospital Ethics Committee has been established to thoughtfully review issues such as this and issue a recommendation.