Colorado Regional Extension Center Reaches Important Milestones in EHR Adoption Program

Date: June 5th, 2013Category: CORHIO e-NewsletterTopics: Regional Extension Center, EHRs, Meaningful Use

Program has helped nearly 3,000 providers adopt electronic health records systems in Colorado.

Since receiving federal funding in 2010, the Colorado Regional Extension Center has been helping primary care providers and critical access and rural hospitals select and adopt electronic health record systems. The program has been extremely successful and to date has helped nearly 3,000 providers in the state switch from paper to electronic health record (EHR) systems.

The Regional Extension Center has surpassed two very important goals. The initial program goal was to sign up 2,295 providers and that goal was exceeded with nearly 3,000 providers seeking services to date. Recently, the Regional Extension Center exceeded the Milestone 2 goal, with 2,501 providers achieving this stage of the program well before the June 2013 goal.

Program Milestones

The program is broken down into three stages, or milestones:

  • Milestone 1 – includes signing up with the Regional Extension Center, agreeing to work with one of the partner organizations
  • Milestone 2 – involves going live on a new EHR, e-prescribing, and clinical reporting
  • Milestone 3 – consists of meeting Meaningful Use Stage 1 and receiving incentive funds

“We’ve exceeded the second milestone, which is very significant for the providers in the REC program,” says Kelly Meade, REC Program Director. “Going live is the key to everything – without an EHR, you’re still relying on paper records. The benefits of EHRs are many – you can improve care coordination, send data more easily, improve workflow and efficiency, e-prescribe, and participate in integrated health information exchange.”

Group Effort Throughout Colorado

The Regional Extension Center works with six partner organizations: Colorado Community Managed Care Network, Colorado Foundation for Medical Care, Colorado Rural Health Center, Health Team Works, Physician Health Partners, and Quality Health Network. The partner organizations provide one-on-one expertise to providers on EHR selection, implementation, and go-live support, workflow redesign, EHR incentive programs, and Meaningful Use guidance.

“CFMC was excited to reach the Milestone 2 goal,” says Erin Dormaier, CFMC Program Manager for the Colorado Regional Extension Center. “It’s been an exciting journey since we started the project in 2010. I’ve worked with several providers who were skeptical about using the EHR, but once they became comfortable, they realized how powerful an EHR can be. Working with physicians to utilize their EHRs for Meaningful Use, we’re getting one step closer to the interoperability of health records, which is where we’ll see the greatest improvements in care.”

“Reaching Milestone 2 is an important step for the practices I work with who are engaged in the Meaningful Use journey,” says Pam Foyster, Clinical Liaison of Quality Health Network. “It’s the beginning of a path forward to use an EHR.”

Resources for Providers Interested in Meaningful Use

Despite reaching their milestone goals, the Regional Extension Center will still help any provider interested in adopting EHR and meeting Meaningful Use. To learn more, please contact Kelly Meade, Program Director, at kmeade@corhio.org or 720-285-3251.

To date, 552 people have participated in the Regional Extension Center’s educational events or webinars on Meaningful Use. The next EHR & Meaningful Use Boot Camp is June 27th in Westminster. Also for non-eligible providers, there is a Meaningful Use portal – Your Path to Meaningful Use – to help with the process.