Last year, ONC issued a nationwide challenge to see 1000 critical access hospitals (CAHs) and small, rural hospitals get to Meaningful Use by 2014.

As of July 31, 2013, we passed the goal with 1,115 (65%) CAHs and small, rural hospitals achieving Meaningful Use. Specifically, 62% (approximately 822 of 1,332) of CAHs and 77% (approximately 293 of 383) of small, rural hospitals (those generally with less than 50 staffed beds) had attested to meaningful use of EHRs.

Small Rural and Critical Access Hospitals that Attested to Meaningful Use Cover the Nation

The small rural and CAHs that have achieved this milestone are well distributed across the country – success has not been limited to one region. The map below illustrates the nationwide distribution of the CAHs and small rural hospitals that attested to Meaningful Use.cahblog1












Rising to the Meaningful Use Challenge

These hospitals face unique challenges because of their: remote geographic location; small size and low patient-volume; limited workforce; shortage of clinicians; constrained financial resources; and lack of adequate, affordable connectivity.

Despite these challenges,  many rural and CAHs are trailblazers; these hospitals are leading the way toward leveraging health IT to transform and improve the delivery of care to their rural communities.  They help us show case leading practices that may help shape the path for other organizations.

The Road Ahead for Meaningful Use

As we look to the road ahead, we see that we – and the rural hospitals and providers – are just at the end of the beginning. There is still much work to do in our continued support for rural health care.  We are committed to helping those CAHs and rural hospitals and providers that have yet to achieve Meaningful Use; we are also committed to those that have already achieved Meaningful Use by helping them continue to make progress and use those tools meaningfully.

So, we’ll leave you with this figure—a map that shows CAHs and small, rural hospitals that attested to Meaningful Use as well as those that have not yet attested so you can see the success, but also the challenges ahead.

View Leila Samy and Mat Kendall’s announcement here.

Congratulations to our Critical Access and Rural Hospitals in Kentucky! We are so proud of your efforts!