It takes a village – celebrating achievement of meaningful use, stage 2

It was time to celebrate following Tucson Medical Center’s successful attestation for Stage 2 of meaningful-use requirements for its electronic medical record this past July. On Wednesday, TMC hosted a breakfast to recognize the 150 team members whose hard work and dedication led the organization to achieve this milestone.

“This was a huge, coordinated effort among a lot of different departments, and everybody really stepped up to the plate to make this happen,” said Chief Information Officer Frank Marini. “And the results are really impressive.”

He shared TMC’s results in meeting the objective measures set by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. As shown in the chart below, TMC beat most measures by 20 points or more.

MU chart

The team had remarkable depth and breadth from areas throughout most clinical areas of the hospital and beyond. In addition to significant resources from Information Services, the team included physicians, registered nurses, patient care techs, lab workers, pharmacists, case managers, infection control specialists and more.

Team members represented all the major clinical areas: cardiac, emergency, general/vascular surgery, geriatrics, geropsych, hospice, intensive care (adults, children and newborns), labor and delivery, mother/baby, neurosurgery/neurology, orthopaedic surgery, pediatrics, post-cardiac care, pre-anesthesia testing, transitional care and women’s services. Other ancillary areas included case management, clinical education, diagnostics, imaging, lab, nursing practice, pharmacy and volunteer services.

In addition, non-clinical areas included admitting, communications, community benefit, enterprise-wide scheduling, finance, health information management (formerly medical records), infection control, patient accounting, professional staff, quality, risk management and surgery scheduling.

Because the transitions-of-care measure was critical, representation was needed from outside the hospital campus. The measure called for the ability to send an electronic version of a patient’s medical record and plan of care in a format the receiving physician or care facility could understand. Staff from business development reached out to community physician groups including Saguaro Physicians, Saguaro Surgical and Southern Arizona Infectious Disease Specialists. In addition, the accountable care organization, Arizona Connected Care, of which TMC is a part, was part of the coordinated effort. All of this work had the support of the board of trustees and the C-suite, with the bulk of the Executive Team having a role to play.

TMC continues to optimize its electronic medical record and next up will be Stage 3 of meaningful use, which will focus on improved outcomes. Though the final rules for Stage 3 are still being developed by the government, TMC continues to look at ways to optimize the electronic medical record to increase quality, safety and efficiency in order to improve patient outcomes.

MU stage 2

A group of staff from Information Systems kicks off the morning festivities to recognize the team that work to meet requirements for Stage 2 meaningful use of the hospital’s electronic medical record.


This blog is one in a series as part of the Oct. 22 celebration at Tucson Medical Center for successfully attesting to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for meeting Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements of its electronic medical record. This success was a great and collaborative effort across many areas of the hospital. It represents another milestone achieved toward improved patient care and safety.

TMC ahead of the curve: one of less than 200 hospitals nationwide to attest to Stage 2 of meaningful use for its electronic medical record

1_Meaningful-Use_ArrowIn July, Tucson Medical Center attested to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, that it has met Stage 2 meaningful use requirements for implementation of its electronic medical record. As a result, the hospital expects to receive $1.9 million this year in incentive payments made available under the 2009 economic stimulus package.

While the use of electronic medical records has dramatically increased throughout the country, many hospitals are finding it difficult to meet Stage 2 requirements. At the end of July, TMC was one of 78 hospitals, out of 4,741 hospitals registered for the incentive program, which had attested to Stage 2. As of Sept. 30, only 143 hospitals had attested.

After successfully attesting, TMC was contacted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology for a conference call to learn how the organization succeeded.

Two areas have proved especially challenging for hospitals around the country: patient electronic access, often realized through the use of a patient portal, and transitions‐of‐care measures requiring an electronic document be sent to the physician or care facility that will care for a patient after discharge.

TMC succeeded, in part, because of a team of more than 150 people from various disciplines, including executives, nursing, health information management, admitting, quality and information services.

The hospital first began investing in its electronic medical record infrastructure in 2002. Then in 2008, the TMC HealthCare Board of Trustees approved a $31 million plan to implement a fully electronic medical record, which went live in 2010. Presently, the organization is working toward connecting its internal electronic records system with other hospitals and health providers to share patient records.

This blog is one in a series as part of an Oct. 22 celebration at Tucson Medical Center for successfully attesting to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for meeting Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements of its electronic medical record. This success was a great and collaborative effort across many areas of the hospital. It represents another milestone achieved toward improved patient care and safety.


Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461