Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Kathleen M. Rayman

Committee Members

Lee Glenn, Joellen B. Edwards, Pam Taylor


In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was signed into law. This legislation provided for monetary rewards for those acute-care hospitals that meet "meaningful use" computerization and reporting criteria.

The study used a descriptive, nonexperimental design to answer three research questions (1) What is the level of readiness to meet "meaningful use" criteria in the Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) member hospitals; (2) What is the level of readiness to meet "meaningful use" criteria in the rural THA member hospitals; and (3) Is there a difference in the readiness to meet "meaningful use" criteria between rural and urban THA member hospitals?.

A survey was sent to 115 THA member hospital, with a return rate of 83% (N=95). The inclusion criteria focused on acute-care hospitals, with rehabilitation, psychiatric and long-term care hospitals falling into the exclusion criteria.

The Readiness Score was determined for the total survey respondents (N=95), as well as for the rural (N=41) hospitals and urban (N=54) hospitals in the Tennessee Hospital Association member hospitals meeting the inclusion criteria. Z-scores of the readiness score were examined and indicated that there was one outlier with z>3.0. Therefore, that case was removed from the comparison in the t-test (N=94). The t-test comparison of rural and urban hospital found a significant difference at (p=.002), two tailed.

To ensure that the slightly nonnormal distribution of the readiness scores did not explain the difference found with the t-test, an additional nonparametric test was also conducted. The Mann Whitney U-test showed that even with the assumption of a normal distribution is not made, the difference in readiness between urban and rural hospitals is still statistically significant at p=0.026.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.