November 18, 2011
100,000 Primary Care Providers Adopt Electronic Health Records
According to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, more than 100,000 primary care providers are adopting certified Electronics Health Records (EHRs).
There are 62 Regional Extension Centers (RECs) whose primary focus is assisting primary care providers, who traditionally serve underserved populations, as they take part in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs and use EHRs in ways that can reduce costs, increase patient safety, and improve the quality of patient care. The providers in these situations face tight budgets and other technological challenges in switching to the EHR.
Fazad Mostashari, MD, SCM, from the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology said in a recent release: “The RECs are playing an integral role in helping providers on the path to EHR adoption. This compelling milestone demonstrates strong interest in adoption and meaningful use among community health centers, small practices, and rural providers that can lead to improvements in health and healthcare.”
Out of the providers committed to making the transition to EHRs, one-half are in small group practices or consortia of small group practices. Out of the other half, 18 percent are in community health centers providing care to the underserved, 11 percent are public hospitals and 21 percent are in critical access hospitals, rural health clinics, and practices in medically underserved areas.
The RECs were developed from the Health Information Technology Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009.
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