BALTIMORE, Sept. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients (CRISP), Maryland's regional extension center for health information technology (REC), announced today that the first of its enrolled primary care providers have "attested" to being meaningful users of a certified electronic health records (EHR) system, a critical final step in securing their share of more than $20 billion in federal incentives for the adoption of health IT.
"Implementation of electronic health record technology has greatly benefited our practice," said Dr. Sean Holmes of Desai and Holmes, one of the physicians who attested for the meaningful use incentives to date.
"Electronic health records will help reduce costs in the health care system, make it easier for physicians to provide care, and improve the quality of health care for all Marylanders," said Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown. "With CRISP's first participants achieving meaningful use, we have taken another critical step forward in our efforts to lead the nation in health IT adoption."
The announcement coincides with National Health Information Technology Week. President Obama has declared the week of September 11-16, 2011 National Health Information Technology Week. National Health Information Technology Week is a time to highlight the importance of efficient information systems that protect the privacy and security of personal health information while improving the delivery of health care in the United States.
"Attesting to meaningful use signals that a physician is ready to capitalize on the true benefits of his or her EHR system," said Daniel Wilt, Program Director of the Maryland REC. "Meaningful users of health IT are poised to provide higher quality, more efficient healthcare."
"Physicians across Maryland are embracing the transition to EHRs in growing numbers," said Gene M. Ransom, III, Chief Executive Officer of MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society. "It is fitting that we'd recognize their progress during National Health IT Week, when attention is being drawn to the benefits of EHR adoption nationwide."
These three physicians, who practice in different communities across the state, are on the vanguard of a movement to transition to EHRs by 2015. More than 1,200 primary care providers are enrolled in Maryland's REC program, receiving subsidized direct assistance support for the transition. More than 20% of these providers have now gone live with their EHR and are on the road to becoming meaningful users of the technology.
"Wavelength is extremely pleased of our role in facilitating the adoption of EHRs throughout the state of Maryland," said Murray Oltman, President of Wavelength Information Services, the state-designated Management Services Organization (MSO) whose clients attested for Meaningful Use. "EHRs greatly increase the quality of patient care within the community of caregivers. The federal and state financial incentives available to assist the individual physicians with this clinical transformation are a significant driver of change, and we anticipate thousands of Maryland providers to benefit from these incentives over the next year."
RECs were created nationwide under the Health Information Technology Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. CRISP's program, which is supported by state-designated MSOs and the Maryland Health Care Commission, is one of the leading RECs in the country with regards to achieving its provider enrollment goals.
To learn more about CRISP and how it is enabling the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology in Maryland, please visit www.crisphealth.org. CRISP offers free consultations to any physician practice considering the transition to EHRs.
To learn more about National Health Information Technology Week, visit health.hhs.gov.
CRISP is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to provide safer, more timely, efficient, effective, equitable, patient-centered health care to all Marylanders through health information technology. With support from a broad coalition of stakeholders in the state's government, healthcare and technology sectors, CRISP has been designated Maryland's statewide health information exchange (HIE) by the Maryland Health Care Commission; currently, 22 Maryland hospitals are connected to the HIE with regulation requiring that all 46 connect by December 1, 2011. CRISP is also serving as the regional extension center for health IT for the state of Maryland; the program's goal is to assist 1,000 Maryland priority primary care providers in becoming meaningful users of HIT by 2012. CRISP is supported through the state's unique all-pay or rate setting system and with federal grant funding.
SOURCE Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients