CIO Joanne Sunquist briefs press on EHR “Meaningful Use”

by Hennepin Healthcare

At a press briefing in Washington D.C. on September 13 hosted by the College of Health Information Management Executives (CHIME), HIMSS and Electronic Health Record Association, industry leaders assessed year one of the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. Panelists agreed the nation’s health IT landscape is transforming due to the HITECH Act and nearly $30 billion in stimulus funding made available by demonstrating meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs).

Speaking on behalf of CHIME, Joanne Sunquist, Chief Information Officer of Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, called meaningful use an important policy platform and an impactful incentive program. “Meaningful use has had a profound impact as a policy platform and an incentive program, reinforcing our hospital’s EHR strategy while providing us direction to make future improvements,” she said.  Sunquist said even though her hospital was an early adopter of electronic health records, meaningful use gave her credence and assurance that the hospital was on the right path. “Going through the exercise of attesting for Meaningful Use highlighted areas where work was needed and reinforced work that had already been done,” she said.

Joanne Sunquist, HCMC Chief Information Officer

The briefing was part of National Health IT Week supported by over 170 organizations, including CHIME, held this week in the nation’s Capital. Now in its sixth year, National Health IT Week assembles key healthcare constituents—provider organizations, government agencies, pharmaceutical companies, industry/professional associations, and vendor groups—to work together to elevate national attention to the necessity of advancing health IT. Read entire news release at the CHIME web site.