Wyoming's Winning Meaningful Use Strategy

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media , September 7, 2011

The hospital actually worked with the state's Medicaid office to build one of the exchanges that they needed to submit data and information.

Doing so has helped South Lincoln Medical Center become an IT leader in the state. Wyoming's governor, Matt Mead, has given Boley a spot on his infrastructure workforce group, and "we're right on the threshold of signing an agreement to have a health information exchange available for all the hospitals in our state," Boley said.

Although South Lincoln Medical Center successfully proved meaningful use of its EHR, Boley says for any such system to be truly meaningful, it has to be part of a larger network.

"To have an electronic health record that means anything, everyone in the country is going to have to be able to take encrypted information and put it into their systems," he said. "We still have a long ways to go in having health information exchanges built that work, not only hospital-to-hospital, but statewide, and then, from state-to-state."

What worked in Wyoming

Every hospital is different, and critical access hospitals face in particular face special challenges. But Boley shares what worked for South Lincoln Medical Center and offers advice for other CEOs.

1.    Involve employees from the beginning: Boley not only made sure that all of his staff was on-board with the electronic system; he also involved them in deciding which product the hospital would purchase. "When a person who's supposed to be leading the organization makes a decision without consulting those who are going to be the end-users, a lot of times it doesn't go very well," he said.

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