PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In a state where technology is dominant – Oregon health care providers are rapidly adopting EHRs and advancing both state and national health reform initiatives. In December of 2011, OCHIN O-HITEC reported that they'd surpassed the goal of their 2009 federal grant award by signing on more than 2700 Oregon primary care providers to receive help selecting, implementing and effectively using EHR technology to improve patient care and reduce costs. This ranks O-HITEC in the top 10 out of 62 regional extension centers in the nation.
61% of the 2700 providers are already utilizing an EHR in a sophisticated manner. Ten percent of the 61% have already achieved the first stage of a three stage federal process to meaningfully use an EHR and qualify for federal incentives of up to $64K per Medicaid-eligible provider or up to $44K per Medicare-eligible provider. O-HITEC anticipates that many more providers will qualify in first quarter of 2012. Although not a part of the grant, medical specialists in Oregon are also benefitting from membership in O-HITEC by receiving the same helpful EHR adoption and usage services.
A key to O-HITEC's success is their education grant partner Oregon Health and Sciences University and statewide partnerships with organizations such as the Oregon Medical Association, Oregon Association of Family Physicians, the Oregon Rural Health Association, many Independent Physicians Associations and the state of Oregon. "I could not be prouder," said Abby Sears, OCHIN's CEO. "Strategic partnerships and dedicated, mission-driven staff members made our success possible," she said.
In the next 2 years, the plan is to reach 95% of all Oregon primary care providers that qualify under the grant. In addition to helping providers to adopt and implement an EHR, OCHIN O-HITEC is offering services to help all providers optimize EHR usage. Services include – online classes, one-on-one training, technical assistance, practice transformation and quality improvement. "The exciting work of health reform is just beginning and we are here to help providers to take full advantage of this extraordinary technology and the training to make it useful," said Clayton Gillett, the O-HITEC Executive Director.
About OCHIN O-HITEC
OCHIN is a national non-profit collaborative headquartered in Portland, Oregon that provides integrated HIT software products and services to community health clinics, mental health services, small practices and rural and critical access hospitals serving the medically underserved. For more information please visit www.ochin.org. Through a grant from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) that is located within the Office of the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Oregon's Health Information Technology Extension Center (O-HITEC) provides education, outreach, and assistance to facilitate successful implementation, and meaningful use of certified electronic health records. O-HITEC strives to transform healthcare, improve quality and deliver value through effective use of information technology. For additional information please visit www.ohitec.org.
SOURCE OCHIN O-HITEC