Grant in hand, regional extension center heads discuss next steps

Two leaders of an Atlanta-based regional extension center discuss how they plan to help providers, especially those in rural areas, implement electronic health records and achieve meaningful use.

The HITECH Act established a federal Health Information Technology Extension Program, which consists of regional extension centers and research centers. The goal of RECs is to assist health care providers with electronic health record implementation and the other tasks necessary to meet federal requirements for the meaningful use of EHR technology (which the HITECH Act also established). The research centers, meanwhile, will address best practices for EHR adoption and help the RECs collaborate.

In February, the Department of Health & Human Services announced $375 million in funding for 32 RECs. Among the grant recipients was the Atlanta-based Morehouse School of Medicine, which received more than $19.5 million. The National Center for Primary Care within Morehouse will serve as its REC.

Morehouse will be working with the Georgia Department of Community Health, which itself received a $3.1 million grant to build an EHR implementation program for Medicaid providers in Georgia in December 2009.

This podcast discusses the Morehouse REC’s outreach and education plan for health care providers, particularly those in rural areas, and addresses some of the challenges that such providers face in adopting EHR technology and achieving meaningful use.

Speakers:

  • Dr. Carladenise Edwards -- Chief of Staff and State Health IT Coordinator, Georgia Department of Community Health
  • Dr. Dominic Mack -- Deputy Director, National Center for Primary Care; Assistant Professor of Clinical Family Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine
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Regional extension center heads discuss next steps

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This was first published in March 2010

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