Partnerships are key to the rapid implementation and adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) across the region. The Midwest HIT Consortium is continuing to work with collaborative efforts such as Beacon Community, Health Information Exchange and Regional Extension programs to help meet their goals. Many of these collaborative organizations are expected to employ future workers who will be trained in the HIT program.
Healthcare Partners – ONC ARRA Funded Programs:
Beacon Community Program
The Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program provides funding to selected communities to build and strengthen their HIT infrastructure and exchange capabilities. The program supports these communities at the cutting edge of EHR adoption and health information exchange to push them to a new level of sustainable health care quality and efficiency. The program also will show how other communities can use HIT to achieve similar goals.
Beacon Community Programs within Region C include:
- Greater Cincinnati HealthBridge, Inc., Cincinnati, OH
- Indiana Health Information Exchange, Inc., Indianapolis, IN
- Mayo Clinic Rochester, Rochester, MN
- Southeastern Michigan Health Association, Detroit, MI
State Health Information Exchange (HIE) Cooperative Agreement Program
The State HIE Cooperative Agreement Program funds states’ efforts to rapidly build capacity for exchanging health information across the health care system both within and beyond state lines. Awardees are responsible for increasing connectivity and enabling patient-centric information flow to improve the quality and efficiency of care. Key to this effort is the continual evolution and advancement of necessary governance, policies, technical services, business operations, and financing mechanisms for HIE over each state, territory, and state department of education four-year performance period. This program is building on existing efforts to advance regional and state-level health information exchange while moving toward nationwide interoperability.
HIE Programs within Region C include:
- Illinois Department of Health Care and Family Services
- Indiana Health Information Technology, Inc
- Iowa Department of Public Health
- Kansas Health Information Exchange Project
- Michigan Department of Health
- Minnesota Department of Health
- Missouri Department of Social Services
- Nebraska Department of Administrative Services
- Ohio Health Information Partnership LLC
- Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services
Health Information Technology Regional Extension Program (REC)
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).
The RECs will support and serve health care providers to help them quickly become adept and meaningful users of EHRs. These RECs are designed to make sure that primary care clinicians get the help they need to use electronic health records. 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 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.
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.
RECs within Region C include:
- HealthBridge Inc. (for select areas in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky)
- IFMC Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (Iowa HITREC)
- Illinois Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (IL-HITREC)
- Kansas Foundation for Medical Care, Inc. (KFMC)
- Michigan Center for Effective IT Adoption (M-CEITA)
- Missouri HIT Assistance Center
- Ohio Health Information Partnership (OHIP)
- Purdue University
- Regional Extension Assistance Center for Health Information Technology (REACH)
- Wide River Technology Extension Center
- Wisconsin Health Information Technology Extension Center
Resources for Students
- Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT
- Health IT Workforce Curriculum Components
- Official HIT Pro Exam Site
- Pearson Vue
- Career Services for Health IT Professionals from JainSys