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'The Business of Health Care Report'

EHR Series: What is Meaningful Use?

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I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

You may have heard that the federal government is offering stimulus funds to health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of health information technology. Some have called the stimulus funds a bailout. Quite the opposite: The funds are a way to encourage healthcare providers to invest in technology that will help improve quality and patient safety.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services established guidelines for what constitutes “meaningful use.” Over the next few weeks, I am going to talk about those guidelines and tell you what Texas Health hospitals are doing to provide the communities we serve with true meaningful use of health information technology.

We didn’t wait for government guidelines or stimulus funding to invest in health information technology that would improve quality and patient safety. We started building our electronic health record five years ago, and we have invested more than $200 million so far.

We believe the government’s push for the EHR is as a validation of our significant, ongoing investment in health information technology. We plan to use any stimulus funds we might receive to continue investing in resources that improve our quality of care and help us continue fulfilling our mission to improve the health of the people in the communities we serve. For more information about the electronic health record, visit

For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based family of hospitals, Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist, and Texas Health Arlington Memorial, I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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