A recently completed University of California at San Diego (UCSD) project sets an example for both ensuring the meaningful use of electronic health records (EHR) and establishing effective higher-education programs for health IT.
The so-called capstone project, part of UCSD’s Extension Health Information Technology Program, developed an EHR implementation plan that would demonstrate the meaningful use of EHR for a community clinic. The plan includes risk analysis, workflows for clinical and financial processes, and a detailed technical architecture; it is designed to link to CONNECT, the open source health information exchange that uses Nationwide Health Information Network standards.
Students used MedSphere Systems Corp.’s OpenVista, which was provided to the school at no cost, and made their plan available through the vendor’s Open Source Ecosystem, where they are free to blog about or comment on other development projects.
Students in the USCD extension program were provided tuition assistance by the San Diego Workforce Partnership, which received nearly $24 million in stimulus funding for adult and youth programs. With roughly $370 million more in stimulus funding awarded so far to various job training and job development programs across the country, it is hopefully not a stretch to suggest that additional implementation plans focused specifically on the meaningful use of EHR will soon emerge. Adding to existing scholarship will only aid the collective effort to achieve meaningful use, advance health IT and improve patient care.