This article appeared in E-News' "For the Record."

Meaningful use. Two words of towering importance that now remind every hospital administrator, CFO, and medical group CEO that they must comply with newly promulgated regulations from federal HIPAA and HITECH legislation, or risk forfeiting funds previously received from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

But while emphasis originally stopped at the word “meaningful”—as in, is the EMR system being employed as demanded by law—greater emphasis now lands squarely on the word “use”—as in, will the physicians, paramedical staff, and record-keeping and insurance-billing departments actually use the EMR as required? After all, what good is any electronic system if the user experience suffers?

With the recent introduction of biometric signature authorization systems that users effortlessly manage on their existing smartphone, tablet, or desktop, the second half of the equation can now be solved. At the same time, the latest iterations of biometric signature authorization meet the “meaningful” needs of the medical organization by abiding by the letter of the law through gate-access specificity approaching 100%. The fact that the these new systems reside “in the cloud” outside of the company‘s business system, and require absolutely no additional cash outlays for hardware, tag them as a cost-effective option for compliance.

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