More than 1,000 Louisiana health care providers have achieved the “meaningful use” requirements for electronic health records, with assistance from the Louisiana Health Information Technology Resource Center.
The achievement is “an important milestone” for the state’s health information technology infrastructure, said Cindy Munn, chief executive officer of the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, the not-for-profit that manages the Resource Center.
“The adoption of EHRs is a critical component in efforts to drive quality improvements and reduce costs for the residents of Louisiana,” Munn said.
The Resource Center is one of 11 Regional Extension Centers nationwide that reached their grant targets for meaningful use. There are 62 of the extension centers.
The centers received grants to help providers adopt electronic health records and meet a list of requirements for meaningful use. In 2014, those requirements include having a system where patients can view their health records online and download and transmit their health information, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The Louisiana Health Information Technology Resource Center was established in 2010. The organization received $7.8 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to help the state’s health care providers adopt electronic health records and reach meaningful use standards.
Its initial goal was to enroll 1,042 providers, and the center accomplished that in 2011. The enrollment push was part of a nationwide effort designed to accelerate the implementation of electronic health records.
The federal government offers incentives to physicians and hospitals to help them implement electronic health records systems.
Although the Louisiana Regional Extension Center reached its grant target, the center will continue to provide technical assistance, guidance and information to support and accelerate providers’ adoption of electronic health records.