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Project ASPIRE: Achieving “Meaningful Use”


If you know anyone in the Memorial Hospital IT Department, I’m sure you’ve heard them talk about “meaningful use” on a number of occasions. But what does the term meaningful use mean? Why is it so important?

Below I have provided a definition of the term, which was put together for me by a few of Memorial’s stellar IT professionals.

Memorial Hospital's IT Department on the term meaningful useMeaningful use of health information technology (also know as HIT) is the broad term for the rules and regulations that hospitals and physicians must meet to qualify for federal incentive funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). ARRA authorizes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide reimbursement incentives to hospitals and eligible professionals, such as physicians, that meet meaningful use criteria. This includes using an EHR (Electronic Health Record) for e-prescribing, electronic exchange of health information, and submission of quality measures to CMS.

The objectives of meaningful use are to use the technology to improve quality, safety and efficiency of patient care. It will also improve care coordination and provide adequate privacy and security of protected health information. Hospitals that meet the standards set for meaningful use could be eligible for up to four years of financial incentive payments under Medicare and up to six years under Medicaid. Facilities not meeting meaningful use guidelines for EHR use will be financially penalized.

So there’s the “what” and “why,” but how will Memorial Hospital achieve meaningful use? If you check out my previous blog about Project ASPIRE, Memorial Hospital’s $6.9 technology enhancement project, that should tell you. Project ASPIRE is redefining, in many ways, how the hospital provides, all for the better.

Andrew Smith Memorial HospitalAbout the Author:
Andrew Smith has been with Memorial Hospital since 2009. Andrew has previously worked in marketing and development at The University of Toledo/Medical College of Ohio. He has also taught English at Terra Community College. Andrew is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio (go Hawks!) with a Bachelor of Arts in English/Creative Writing.

He lives in Fremont with his wife Erinn and their daughters Riley and Harper.

More Blogs by Andrew Smith >> 


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