A Medical Device Daily
The HIMSS Electronic Health Record Association (EHR Association) reported the availability of grants totaling nearly $1.2 billion to help hospitals and healthcare providers successfully install and use electronic health records (EHRs) as part of the continued implementation of the healthcare IT provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
One set of grants will make available $598 million to establish about 70 Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers to assist hospitals and clinicians in evaluating, acquiring, implementing and achieving meaningful use of certified EHRs. Another grant program will provide $564 million to states and qualified state-designated entities to develop structures to share healthcare information in an emerging network of health information exchanges (HIEs) in support of the nationwide health information network (NHIN).
"The EHR Association is a strong and early supporter of the HIT portions of the ARRA and concurs with David Blumenthal, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, that these new programs will help create a national, private and secure electronic health information system," said Mark Segal, PhD, of GE Healthcare and EHR Association Vice Chairman. The EHR Association is aligned with Blumenthal's premise that health information exchange with strong federal coordination and state innovation will enable information to follow patients within and across communities to help doctors and patients make the best decisions about medical care.