Feds praise Purdue's center to guide the improved use of electronic health records systems
Medical assistant Kim Burton archives paper medical charts as the Kokomo, Ind., health-care practice of Dr. Michelle Haendiges transitions to electronic health records.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue Regional Extension Center (PurdueREC) successfully reached the halfway mark in its work under a $12 million federal grant initiative designed to guide physicians throughout Indiana in using their electronic health records systems in meaningful ways.
Citing "exceptional activities such as critical-access hospital penetration, specific innovations and strong partnerships," the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services gave positive marks to PurdueREC during a required biennial review and cleared the center to continue its work until February 2014.
PurdueREC, a division of the Purdue University Healthcare Technical Assistance Program (HealthcareTAP), is using the grant to assist 2,245 primary care providers and is working with 28 critical-access hospitals as well as with several large hospital systems. As a direct result of those efforts, Indiana health-care providers and hospitals have applied for, and will receive, more than $43 million in federal incentive payments to date. In addition to its grant-related activities, Purdue's involvement extends far beyond the initial scope of the grant focused on primary care providers as the center expands to engage with hospitals and specialists not eligible for grant assistance but eligible for incentive dollars through the CMS Medicaid and Medicare Incentive Payment Program.
Becoming a "meaningful user" of electronic health records systems (EHRs) means meeting ONC-defined requirements to improve quality, safety and efficiency of health-care delivery, reduce health-care disparities, engage patients and families, improve care coordination, improve population and public health, and ensure adequate privacy and security protections for personal health information. The PurdueREC assists health-care providers so that they can effectively demonstrate they are meaningful EHR users.
"Meeting the meaningful use standards usually requires that providers make some adjustments to how they see patients, utilize their EHR and protect their patient information," said Randy Hountz, director of the PurdueREC. "We expedite this process by providing expert meaningful use advice, deep dive EHR use knowledge, and information security expertise in a minimally invasive manner. We roll up our sleeves and work side-by-side with providers, helping them to streamline processes as they implement their EHR and meaningful use. Workflow redesign is a technique used for continual quality and operational improvement, and it's been a hallmark strength of Purdue HealthcareTAP."
In addition to the application of Lean Six Sigma and Lean Healthcare methodologies, Purdue HealthcareTAP offers its clients a readiness assessment, metrics monitoring, a HIPAA-compliant security assessment, attestation support, physician/staff education, and other resources to help hospitals and practices make the most of moving toward EHR meaningful use.
Contact: Jeanine Phipps, HealthcareTAP communications and marketing manager, 765-337-7047, email@example.com