Meaningful Use in Hospitals vs Meaningful User (Physicians)

This is a concept I’ve been thinking about for a while (or at least since I wrote about the definition of meaningful use). It seems like we can often get confused when we talk about how a hospital system might use an EMR and how a solo or small doctors office might use an EMR.

I hadn’t seen anyone articulate that until I saw this news on the HIMSS website about HIMSS publishing it’s definitions of “Meaningful Use.” The broke it down into two definitions which they called “meaningful use of technology in hospitals” and “meaningful users of EHR technology.”

I should mention I don’t agree with all of HIMSS recommendations, but I think that this differentiation is important and I’m really glad that HIMSS made the distinction. I’m surprised that I haven’t seen the distinction made more apparent in other places. Should be interesting to see if ONCHIT, HHS or whoever else is deciding the definition of “meaningful use” will make the distinction.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.