Document Type

Research Project

Publication Date



The adoption of health information technology and the meaningful use of electronic health records is a byproduct of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). One measure of ARRA is the Health Information and Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act which authorizes the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide monetary incentives to hospitals and providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records (EHRs).

The electronic reporting of clinical quality measures is but one requirement for demonstrating meaningful use. Reporting of clinical quality measures has been around for 25 plus years as a manual process of chart abstraction. With today’s requirements, clinicians must adopt and support alternate means to discretely document patient care. Vendors are scrambling to provide the electronic tools necessary to enhance workflow, calculate results and electronically report outcomes; all as a by-product of patient care.

The journey has only begun and will most likely become more complex and stringent in the future as new requirements are enacted. Hospitals will rely on the electronic tools provided by vendors and the support of the clinicians to adopt workflow changes needed for the successful attestation of meaningful use.