HSR releases REC study

Feb. 10, 2014

A study of the Regional Extension Center (REC) Program was released byHealth Services Research with an objective to assess the program’s progress towards the goal of supporting over 100,000 providers in small, rural, and underserved practices to achieve meaningful use (MU) of electronic health records (EHRs).

The Delaware Regional Extension Center, Quality Insights of Delaware, provided a summary of the study. The study covers data from January 2010 through June 2013 via monitoring and evaluation of all 62 RECs across the U.S. that are participating in the four-year program.

Principal Findings

  • Results showed that RECs recruited almost 134,000 primary care providers (PCPs)
    • equates to 44 percent of the nation’s PCPs
    • 86 percent of these were using an EHR with advanced functionality
      • almost half (48 percent) of these PCPs using EHRs have demonstrated MU
      • 83 percent of Federally Qualified Health Centers were participating with an REC
      • 78 percent of the nation’s Critical Access Hospitals were participating with an REC

Conclusion

RECs have made substantial progress in assisting PCPs with adoption and MU of EHRs. This infrastructure supports small practices, community health centers, and rural and public hospitals to use technology for care delivery transformation and improvement.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has arranged for open access to the study for a limited time; it is accessible here.

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