Term

Health Information Technology Extension Program

Description

The Health Information Technology Extension Program is part of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, a piece of legislation passed in 2009 that provides an unprecedented investment in health information technology. The primary purpose of the extension program is to provide technical assistance as well as guidance and information on best practices to support health care providers who seek to effectively utilize Electronic Health Records (EHRs).

Applications

The program plans to implement both Regional Extension Centers (RECs) and a national Health Information Technology Research Center (HITRC).

Regional Extension Centers are meant to support health care providers in their transition and implementation of EHRs. More specifically, RECs will:
  • Train doctors and clinicians on how to adopt and utilize EHRs
  • Provide technical assistance, information, and guidance when needed
  • Provide outreach and support services to at least 100,000 priority primary care providers within two years

Since HITECH implemented the extension program, over $600 million has been provided to aid the 67 total RECs across the country. The goal was to be able to support health care providers in every geographic region of the United States. The most recent funding was given September 28, 2010 to establish new RECs in California and New Hampshire, as well as expand coverage in two existing RECs in Florida.

Health Information Technology Research Center will be a centralized location for research that will be available to all health care providers and physicians. Having one unified center for conducting studies and research will promote the usage of evidence-based medicine as opposed to standard issue prescriptions.

Related Terminology

Health Information Technology, Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health, Regional Extension Centers, Health Information Technology Research Center,


References

http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/09/20100928a.html
http://healthit.hhs.gov/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=1495&parentname=CommunityPage&parentid=58&mode=2&in_hi_userid=11113&cached=true
http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/04/20100406a.html
http://www.ahrq.gov/fund/contarchive/fbonrcit.htm