HHS Funds Healthcare Technology for Health Centers

Monday, October 20th, 2008
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

In a featured Healthcare Business Weekly Update story this week, HHS is making $18.9 million available to health centers to adopt EHRs and other HIT innovations, including e-prescribing, health information exchanges, data warehouses and interoperability with outside partners such as state immunization registries and hospitals.

Providers not ready to adopt an EHR might consider using a population-based registry as a start. In a recent HIN e-survey, more than half of 159 responding healthcare organizations told us they use registries to improve quality and efficiency of care and boost prevention efforts. UnitedHealthcare Senior Vice President of Clinical Innovations Dawn Bazarko, who spoke with us recently about UnitedHealthcare’s medical home initiative, said that an EHR is not required at this time for the most basic medical home. However, she added, “We also believe that the presence of a high-functioning well-utilized registry is very critical and oftentimes is not a component of an EHR, so we reinforce our practice sites to first start with a good population-based registry.”

Details on how survey respondents are using paper, spreadsheet and electronic registries to better the health status of their populations are available in a complimentary white paper, Patient Registries: The Track to Better Quality Healthcare.

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