Meaningful Use in Hospitals vs Meaningful User (Physicians)

Posted on May 6, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

This is a concept I’ve been thinking about for a while (or at least since I wrote about the definition of meaningful use). It seems like we can often get confused when we talk about how a hospital system might use an EMR and how a solo or small doctors office might use an EMR.

I hadn’t seen anyone articulate that until I saw this news on the HIMSS website about HIMSS publishing it’s definitions of “Meaningful Use.” The broke it down into two definitions which they called “meaningful use of technology in hospitals” and “meaningful users of EHR technology.”

I should mention I don’t agree with all of HIMSS recommendations, but I think that this differentiation is important and I’m really glad that HIMSS made the distinction. I’m surprised that I haven’t seen the distinction made more apparent in other places. Should be interesting to see if ONCHIT, HHS or whoever else is deciding the definition of “meaningful use” will make the distinction.