One-third of PCPs working with regional extension centers to implement EHRs

November 30, 2011

More than 100,000 primary care practices are using the services of a regional extension center to implement electronic health records. Consider joining them if your practice is closer to the beginning of the process than the end.

Where is your practice in the transition from paper charts to electronic health records (EHRs)?

If you’re closer to the beginning of the process than the end, consider joining the more than 100,000 primary care providers already working with regional extension centers (RECs) in an effort to adopt the technology. The recently-reached milestone number represents more than one-third of the country’s primary care providers, according to the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (HIT), which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

RECs (pronounced R-E-Cs) are nonprofit organizations tasked with providing guidance and resources to help practices such as yours transition from paper records to certified EHRs. Providers who meet criteria for meaningful use of certified EHRs may be eligible for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The 62 RECs focus on assisting primary care providers and those providers serving populations that traditionally have been medically underserved.

“The RECs are playing an integral role in helping providers on the path to EHR adoption,” says Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM, national coordinator for HIT in the ONC. “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.”

For more information about RECs, see www.MedicalEconomics.com/RECs. To locate an REC near you, visit www.MedicalEconomics.com/RECfinder.

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