Reaching Out with Health IT Assistance
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information technology (ONC) funded 62 Regional Extension Centers (RECs) to assist the goal of 100,000 primary care providers to adopt and use electronic health records (EHRs). The Delaware REC was created through that ONC grant to Quality Insights of Delaware and established in April of 2010. Regioanl Extention Centers offer health care providers a local resource for technical assistance, guidance, and information on best practices to support and accelerate the meaningful use of certified EHR technology.
Beth Schindele is currently the Director of the Delaware Regional Extension Center. We are going to catch up with Beth at this year’s HIMSS conference in March to talk to her about the REC. In the mean time she has answered a couple of question for us to start the conversation.
Question: Tell us about one of your Center’s biggest achievements since opening?
Our biggest achievements are recruiting 139% of our recruitment goal, 129% of our EHR Go-Live Goal and currently having 68% of our providers realizing Meaningful Use of their EHR. The provider population in Delaware is approximately 1,900, we are currently working with more than 1,500 of those providers. Essentially, we are working with almost every practice and hospital in the state. We were also the first REC to have 100% of our target providers to EHR Go-Live. In addition to Primary Care Providers, we are also working with Specialists: Dentist, Behavioral Health, Orthopedic, Ophthalmology and others. Meaningful Use is our starting point – once our providers gain MU they kick off their projects to gain quality improvement supporting the Triple Aim. Our Practices have made the commitment to Million Hearts and are focused on monitoring and imporving high blood pressure, high cholesterol, aspirin therapy and tobacco cessation, in addition to Core Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs).
Question: What plan if any is your Center taking to sustain a business model once your HITECH money is over?
We will continue providing services, at a competitive rate for: Privacy and Security Risk Assessments, PCMH, ACO/Clinical Integration, Patient and Family Engagement, EHR Optimization for Quality Healthcare, and Utilizing EHRs for the Million Hearts Campaign. We are also partnering with vendors, the Division of Public Health and other RECs to create regional partnerships continuing the drive towards the Triple Aim.
We will be meeting with Beth and other REC representatives on Tuesday morning between 10 and 11am at the EMRapproved booth #7916.