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Health Information Technology Extension Program (REC) To Support and Help Providers Adapt and Understand Meaningful Use With EHR

Posted Sep 28 2010 4:17pm

A year ago I made this post and look where we are a year later and how much more complicated system have become, why, because we have more data and image information out there. This is where the rubber’s going to meet the road in essence – real doctors and real practices and real learning experiences.

Here’s what I said a year ago about Health 2.0 and being overwhelmed and still feel this way today and hey, I write code so imagine how others who are not geeks feeling today.  By the way this still applies today as there are may out there in this same boat. 

“With Health 2.0 reading this week, I got a little overwhelmed. I guess all of the technology is great but when you sit down and try to explain it to a group of doctors that only have a fax and maybe a computer or 2 in their offices that are still paper guys, well it’s not a pretty picture and literally scares them.  I did a talk a couple weeks ago and covered a few different areas and it was the first time any of them had heard of or seen HealthVault , so there’s a long ways to go.  Sometimes when you are communicating with all the brilliant minds on the web you somewhat may lose track or forget about the “real” world that is out there when it comes to technology…… One meeting with the real world cures that in a few minutes though.”

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There is some open source software out there that vendors could have used to at least create a similar or same clinical interface, but competition and building the absolute best mouse trap, egos and dollars got in the way here. I had one MD tell me he had to learn 5 different systems to get through his internship so vendor are dollar focused here with getting the sale for sure.  Everyone could keep their back ends, etc, but gee some standards for the clinical screens would have been wonderful, thick heads and protecting algorithms took center stage even on the screens. 

In short, what did this all create, scribes and they are getting more popular too.  The first link below is a lengthy post but a lot of information there including one tiny screenshot of what I used writeSmile

Using Scribes at the Hospital – Some Doctors Really Like This Idea

Sure would be nice once in a while to see some of the leaders here using some of this technology and even just pictures showing “they like it” would help <grin">.  Everyone else markets that way so maybe these folks rolling all of this help out don’t like it either?  I don’t know, you tell me.  There’s a lot of money spent on studies that if some were participants they would find a lot of common knowledge here and save the dollars of those studies by participating.  The providers are busy folks today as they have to worry about Pay for Performance too and the grading's of insurance companies and fighting all those algorithmic claim battles in their spare time. 

Perhaps these REC centers will be some actual hands on folks without the paradigm of “its for those guys over there” present.  BD

The HITECH Act authorizes a Health Information Technology Extension Program. The extension program consists of Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers (RECs) and a national Health Information Technology Research Center (HITRC).

What is the HITRC?
The HITRC will gather information on effective practices and help the RECs work with one another and with relevant stakeholders to identify and share best practices in EHR adoption, meaningful use, and provider support.

What are the Regional Extension Centers (RECs)?
The RECs will support and serve health care providers to help them quickly become adept and meaningful users of electronic health records (EHRs). RECs are designed to make sure that primary care clinicians get the help they need to use EHRs.  
RECs will:

  • Provide training and support services to assist doctors and other providers in adopting EHRs
  • Offer information and guidance to help with EHR implementation
  • Give technical assistance as needed

The goal of the program is to provide outreach and support services to at least 100,000 priority primary care providers within two years.
Under HITECH, $677 million is allocated to support a nationwide system of RECs that cover every geographic region of the United States to ensure plenty of support to health care providers in communities across the country

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