Building and improving our health information technology infrastructure is critical to providing quality health care. As the complexity of our health care system continues to grow, health care providers must leverage information technology to improve patient safety and health outcomes. It is critical that Virginia health care providers employ health information technology to provide the best care for patients. Improving health care technology infrastructure offers the potential for both improving the quality and safety of patient care and helping control costs.
To that end the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 established state grants to promote health information technology and specifically Health Information Exchange. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has created two collaborative programs: State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program and Health Information Technology Extension Program.
The purpose of the Regional Centers is to furnish assistance, defined as education, outreach, and technical assistance to help providers in their geographic service areas select, successfully implement, and meaningfully use certified EHR technology to improve the quality and value of health care.
Each Regional Center will plan and implement the outreach, education, and technical assistance programs necessary to meet the objective of assisting providers in its geographic service area to improve the quality and value of care they furnish by attaining or exceeding meaningful use criteria established by the Secretary. On-site technical assistance will be a key service offered by the Regional Centers to priority primary-care providers, and will represent a significant portion of the Regional Centers’ activities. Regional Centers are expected to work with both priority primary-care providers who have existing EHR systems, to assist them in achieving meaningful use of certified EHR technology.
All Regional Centers will be required to provide:
In Virginia the applicant is the Virginia Health Quality Center in partnership with the Center for Innovative Technology. A preliminary application was submitted to ONC on September 8, 2009. Virginia was a successful preliminary applicant and has been requested to submit a full application for merit review. This application must be submitted by November 3, 2009.Get Adobe Acrobat Reader