Purdue receives $12 million to aid Indiana health care
Purdue is one of 32 non-profit organizations receiving funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to support the development of regional extension centers that will assist health professionals in selecting and implementing new information technology software.
"Electronic health records technology has heretofore only been affordable by large practices and health-care systems, but through the federal initiative new options are being developed to enable adoption by practices of all sizes," said Dave McKinnis, director of Purdue's Technical Assistance Program. "Purdue's expertise in health information technology puts us in a great position to help health-care providers engage and utilize these new resources and ultimately boost the health of patients throughout Indiana."
Mary Ann Sloan, director of Purdue's Healthcare Technical Assistance Program, said Purdue's center would help physicians and nurse practitioners at small practices across Indiana - with 10 or fewer doctors - and those aiding underserved populations.
"There is a national priority to have doctors using electronic health information technology by 2014," Sloan said. "We can leverage the networks established by Purdue's Healthcare Technical Assistance Program to reach practices that don't have access to the resources of the larger health-care systems and haven't yet adopted the electronic technology. With this funding, we will help them select products and provide training on how to use the technology to its fullest potential to improve patient care."
The four-year program is part of nearly $1 billion being provided nationally through ARRA to help health-care providers adopt health information technology.
In addition to McKinnis and Sloan, Victor Lechtenberg, vice provost for engagement, and Steve Witz, director of the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering, are co-principal investigators on the Purdue project.
Witz said updating health information technology, such as electronic medical records and prescribing, helps physicians increase the efficiency of practices and reduce the risk of errors.
"It doesn't matter where you had a certain test or exam done, with electronic records the information is available to any physician who needs it to provide you with the best care," he said. "The ability to generate and send a prescription electronically reduces the chance for a prescription to be misread and for a patient to receive the wrong medication."
The practices will need support and training in order to implement the technology and use it to its full potential, he said.
"Success requires much more than just getting the software to the health-care providers," Witz said. "Training the physicians, nurses, physician's assistants and staff of the practice is critical to reaping the rewards of the new technology. We need to be sure it is being used to the extent that it significantly improves patient care."
The new center is expected to begin work in April.
The ARRA awards will help make electronic health information technology available to more than 100,000 primary care physicians nationally by 2012. The White House on Friday (Feb. 12) said the ARRA-funded projects would help grow the emerging health information technology industry, which is expected to support tens of thousands of jobs ranging from nurses and pharmacy techs to information technology technicians and trainers.
Purdue's Technical Assistance Program provides resources to help Indiana businesses, industry and government implement new technologies and operates the Healthcare Technical Assistance Program.
Purdue's Healthcare Technical Assistance Program partners with Indiana health-care providers to improve quality, safety and efficiency. It is a partnership among the Indiana Hospital Association, Purdue Technical Assistance Program and Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering and is a corporate partner with the Indiana Council of Community Mental Health Centers Inc.
The Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering applies a systems analysis approach to improve the process of health-care delivery. The center is part of Purdue's Discovery Park.
Purdue has many partners for this initiative, and a complete list is available at http://www.ihitec.purdue.edu
Writers: Elizabeth K. Gardner, 765-494-2081, firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, email@example.com
Sources: Dave McKinnis, 765-494-9189, firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Witz, 765-496-8303, email@example.com
Mary Ann Sloan, 765-496-1899, firstname.lastname@example.org
Victor Lechtenberg, 765-494-9095, email@example.com
Related Web sites:
Indiana Healthcare Information Technology Extension Center