The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and its important Health Information Technology Act provision became law on February 17, 2009. Commonly referred to as The Stimulus Bill" or The Recovery Act," the landmark legislation allocated $787 billion to stimulate the economy, including $147 billion to rescue and reform the nation's seriously ailing health care industry. Of these funds, $19 billion in financial incentives were earmarked for the relatively short period of 5 years to drive reform through the use of advanced health information technology (HIT) and the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs). The incentives were intended to help health care providers purchase and implement HIT and EHR systems, and the HITECH Act also stipulated clear penalties would be imposed beyond 2015 for both hospitals and physician providers who failed to adopt use of EHRs in a meaningful way. Nurses will be integral to achieving a vision that will require a nationwide effort to adopt and implement EHR systems in a meaningful way.
Murphy, J. (2010). The Journey to meaningful use of electronic health records. Nursing Economics, 28(4), 283–286.