by Donna Verhasselt

Today’s Environment

Embarking on any large, complex initiative is bound to present healthcare organizations with some surprises along the way. But the Meaningful Use initiative is especially rife with uncertainty. The federal government continues to clarify its criteria for compliance, which will come into effect in three stages over the next five years. What’s more, no one knows exactly how the government will interpret its criteria, or what it is going to audit to determine compliance.

Point B's Perspective

How to proceed in the midst of ambiguity? Based on our work with a number of healthcare providers in the vanguard of achieving Meaningful Use, here are some challenges your organization may encounter along the way—and how to equip yourself for a smoother journey.

Meaningful Use is more than an IT project—and it takes more than the IT organization to achieve it. Yes, IT is key. But Meaningful Use is a broader operations initiative that calls for C-level involvement across your organization. Having passionate executive sponsors can help evangelize the long- term value of Meaningful Use beyond the government’s financial incentives, leading to better clinical outcomes, more informed and engaged patients, and new delivery models that move toward accountable care. That said, you’ll also want clinicians to champion this initiative; at the end of the day, they own Meaningful Use of the EHR through their documentation and how they integrate it into patient care.