Consider the ways HITECH and Meaningful Use mandates have impacted a health care setting with which you are familiar.

Though electronic health records (EHRs) may provide an abundance of information at faster speeds than paper-based records ever could, the cost and challenges related to implementation have prevented many organizations from adopting EHRs. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act aims to increase the adoption rate by providing financial incentives for health care organizations that demonstrate “meaningful use” of EHRs. In order to receive these funds, settings must meet a specific set of requirements identified by the HITECH legislation.

The adoption of an EHR can often be a frenzied process because of the incentives provided by the HITECH Act. In addition, the saturation of the technology market provides settings with an overwhelming amount of options from which to choose.

In this Discussion, you debate the effectiveness of the HITECH Act and Meaningful Use mandates.

To prepare:

· Conduct research in the Walden Library and through credible nursing organizations to assess how the nursing informatics community is addressing these mandates.

· Create a list that documents the pros and cons that mandates such as these have on health care settings. Reflect upon your list, and determine whether you believe these mandates are beneficial or harmful to health care organizations and nursing practice.

By Day 3

Post a brief scholarly commentary that describes your stance on issues related to HITECH and meaningful use.

Include in your commentary your personal beliefs on the issue, your experiences in a health care organization, and/or the pros and cons surrounding these initiatives.

Select at least one of the following to underscore your stance:

· Mandating change. Do the HITECH Act and Meaningful Use mandates help to drive and equalize change across all health care settings, or do they lead to rapid and sloppy implementations?

· The benefits or ramifications that stem from the use of incentives and disincentives.

· The influence of across-the-board mandates on patient safety, ethics, and quality of care. (I select this one)

· The allocation of funds specifically earmarked for HITECH and Meaningful Use. Is it worth it or wasted?

Required Readings

Saba, V. K., & McCormick, K. A. (2015). Essentials of nursing informatics (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Chapter 5, “Open Source and Free Software”

This chapter introduces the role that open source and free software plays in informatics. The disruptive and beneficial effects of such software are also described.

Chapter 16, “Nursing Informatics and Healthcare Policy”

Much debate has revolved around the health care policies of the Obama administration. This chapter highlights the impact these policies could have on health care and the nursing informatics discipline in particular.

Chapter 18, “Establishing Nursing Informatics in Public Policy”

Chapter 18 emphasizes the responsibility that nurse informaticists have in voicing their needs and concerns to public health care policy drivers. The chapter also stresses why informatics leaders need equal parts education, advisement, competencies, and support.