HITECH and Meaningful Use—A Real-World Debate

Though electronic health records (EHRs) may provide an abundance of information at faster speeds than paper-based records ever could, the cost and challenges related to implementation have prevented many organizations from adopting EHRs. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act aims to increase the adoption rate by providing financial incentives for health care organizations that demonstrate “meaningful use” of EHRs. In order to receive these funds, settings must meet a specific set of requirements identified by the HITECH legislation.

The adoption of an EHR can often be a frenzied process because of the incentives provided by the HITECH Act. In addition, the saturation of the technology market provides settings with an overwhelming amount of options from which to choose.

In this Discussion, you debate the effectiveness of the HITECH Act and Meaningful Use mandates.

To prepare:

· Consider the ways HITECH and Meaningful Use mandates have impacted a health care setting with which you are familiar.

· Conduct research in the Walden Library and through credible nursing organizations to assess how the nursing informatics community is addressing these mandates.

· Create a list that documents the pros and cons that mandates such as these have on health care settings. Reflect upon your list, and determine whether you believe these mandates are beneficial or harmful to health care organizations and nursing practice.

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