A Journey through Meaningful Use at a Large Academic Medical Center: Lessons of Leadership, Administration, and Technical Implementation

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This is an article about a journey into meaningful use certification and use in a large academic medical center setting - Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC) for not only stage-1 compliance and the incentives consequent on that compliance but an effort to avoid penalties levied for non compliance. The authors not only discuss their journey but clearly identify and document the lessons learned so others following the same path could benefit from this effort and not re-invent the wheel.


Meaningful Use according to the authors involves not only implementing an EMR system but more importantly meaningfully using the system for care coordination and patient engagement. As broad as the term Meaningful Use is, it is not without an objective definition and that has been provided by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (HIT) and intelligently classified under five major categories - Quality, Safety, Efficiency, Reducing health disparities and ensuring privacy and security of protected health information (PHI).


As complicated as the meaningful use certification and compliance may seem, especially in large hospital settings, the authors think and demonstrate that by engaging Best Practices in the areas of Leadership, Administration, Communication, Technical Implementation and Ongoing Support and proceeding methodically with all round commitment to getting it done, it can be accomplished with relative ease.

  • Summarizing their thinking on the various Best Practices engaged during this initiative:
  • Leadership: Establish a high level task force containing high profile Executives to promote company-wide awareness, engage in selecting clinical quality measures and establishing accountability, using various means of communication to drive home the message about the importance of this initiative.
  • Administration: Establishing a single window clearance and choosing the Company's credentialing office for that express purpose.
  • Communication: Periodic dashboard reporting on progress and status as well as publish and share newsletters on meaningful use highlights and updates.
  • Technical Implementation: While the EHR system comes with its own canned, standard meaningful use reports, customizing it to suit the specific objectives and using it to measure progress and status and to apply course correction.
  • Ongoing Support: A sustained commitment to Error correction, answering questions, resolving issues, attending day to day security and other concerns.


The authors not only point out that achieving meaningful use is very possible but actually demonstrate the path they took to success and offer it to others that want to follow it, thus clearly sending a message that Success is predictable and leaves clues and so does failure. The authors clearly point the way to success in accomplishing such a complex initiative.[1]


  1. Unger, M., Aldrich, A., Hefner, J., & Rizer, M. (2014, August 1). A Journey through Meaningful Use at a Large Academic Medical Center: Lessons of Leadership, Administration, and Technical Implementation. Retrieved February 7, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4272440