Cedar County Memorial Hospital C.E.O. Jana Witt is proud to announce that the 25-bed Critical Access Hospital located in El Dorado Springs has successfully achieved Stage 1 “Meaningful Use” of its electronic health record (EHR) to qualify for federal incentive payments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.

To provide background on this achievement, ARRA was signed into law by President Obama with the intent of stimulating the economy through investments in infrastructure, unemployment benefits, transportation, education and healthcare. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of ARRA, was signed into law on Feb. 17, 2009, to promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology. Under ARRA/HITECH, there are three stages of electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use—Stage 1—Data Capture; Stage 2—Data Aggregation; and Stage 3—Data Use to Impact Outcomes. Each stage includes objectives established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that must be met by hospitals in order to be eligible for federal incentive payments.

Installation of NextGen® Inpatient Clinicals was completed at Cedar County Memorial Hospital in October 2011, and the system went live on Nov. 1, 2011. The hospital then began the required 90-day attestation period on Nov. 2, during which the hospital demonstrated compliance with the 14 required core objectives and six menu set objectives. The main component of these objectives was demonstrated use of computerized physician order entry (CPOE), which allows physicians to electronically enter orders for the care of patients into a computer where they are communicated over a computer network to the appropriate clinical department(s) or practitioner(s). Some of the goals of CPOE include reduction of errors due to handwriting, decreased delay in order completion and automated error checking for duplicate or incorrect doses or tests.

According to information obtained by NextGen Healthcare, at the time of attestation, Cedar County Memorial Hospital was one of only 40 Missouri hospitals to have attested to Stage 1 meaningful use for an inpatient system. There are approximately 172 hospitals in Missouri.

“Our journey through Stage 1 of Meaningful Use has been far from easy,” said Cedar County Memorial