I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”
The term meaningful use has fast become a buzzword in the health care industry as hospitals across the country work to meet government guidelines for the use of health information technology. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services defines meaningful use as having five critical components. The first component is improving quality, safety, efficiency, and reducing health disparities.
At Texas Health, we started our journey towards meaningful use long before the term was coined. Twelve of our 13 community hospitals have fully implemented the electronic health record — putting Texas Health far ahead of other hospital systems.
More importantly, our investment has made a difference in the care we provide. For instance, we have seen a significant decrease in medication errors since deploying Computerized Physician Order Entry. Among other things, using standardized electronic order sets avoids the need to translate handwritten orders for medications or lab tests.
The improvement in quality and patient safety we have seen as a result of our deployment of health information technology more than validates our $200 million investment over the last five years. It also provides a concrete example of how our hospitals are meeting the first component of the government’s definition of “meaningful use.” For more information about electronic health records, visit TexasHealth.org/Records.
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.