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1,000 Healthcare Providers Sign Up for EHR and Meaningful Use Support from WIREC

December 9, 2010

The Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center for Health Information Technology (WIREC) Enrolls Primary Care Providers, Helping to Ensure Improved Patient Care and Bringing Federal Stimulus Incentives to the Region

Seattle, WA - The Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center (WIREC) announced today that 1,000 primary care providers in the region have signed up to use its services to help adopt and use electronic health records (EHRs). Meaningful use of EHRs will improve patient care and also help providers qualify for federal stimulus incentive payments.

"While the use of electronic medical records in the United States has lagged behind that in other countries, our experience with WIREC suggests that we may be at a tipping point given the enthusiastic response of physicians to this program. It is apparent that primary care providers in Washington and Idaho are eagerly engaged in efforts to achieve meaningful use of health information technology, and ultimately to improve the quality of patient care," says Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH, President and CEO of Qualis Health.

WIREC is led by Qualis Health and is among the first of the 62 Regional Extension Centers nationwide to reach the milestone of 1,000 enrolled providers. Across the U.S., the centers offer healthcare providers technical assistance, guidance, and information on best practices to support and accelerate efforts to become meaningful users of EHRs. Leaders from each of the centers will meet December 14-15, 2010 in Washington, DC for a national conference of grantees from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

"It's great to know healthcare providers are taking advantage of the WIREC resources," said Richard Onizuka, PhD, Washington State Health Care Authority Health Policy Director and State Government HIT Coordinator. "This much needed technical assistance helps accelerate the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology to improve healthcare outcomes for Washingtonians," said Onizuka.

WIREC's assistance goes beyond helping primary care providers select and implement EHRs. The underlying goal of the program is ultimately to transform healthcare and improve the quality of patient care. WIREC also provides valuable guidance to maximize workflow processes and increase efficiency of a paperless practice. WIREC services help eligible providers reach "meaningful use" as defined by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and qualify for incentive payments of up to $63,750 each.

Enrollment is still open for eligible Washington and Idaho providers.

Led by Qualis Health, WIREC provides technical assistance, guidance, vendor-neutral EHR adoption services, and information to eligible healthcare professionals to help them achieve meaningful use of EHRs and qualify for CMS incentive payments. WIREC was selected and awarded through an objective review process by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). WIREC serves as a direct pipeline to the national Regional Extension Center program, leveraging our connection to a national collaborative of RECs while bringing local expertise to support providers across the region with technical assistance for successful EHR adoption. WIREC's provider technical assistance is carried out by a consortium of the region's premier health IT adoption organizations, including Community Choice, Idaho Health Data Exchange, Inland Northwest Health Services, North Idaho Health Network, PTSO of Washington, and Qualis Health.

About Qualis Health
Qualis Health is dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare delivery and health outcomes for individuals and populations across the nation. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, the nonprofit healthcare quality improvement and consulting organization strives to achieve performance excellence for our clients by focusing on best practices and providing a range of services that lead to better quality care, higher patient and provider satisfaction, and greater efficiency. Qualis Health serves as the CMS-designated Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) for Washington and Idaho and also provides care management, quality assessment and improvement services, and health information technology consulting services across the country.


This material was prepared by Qualis Health as part of our work as the Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center, under grant #90RC0033/01 from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Department of Health and Human Services.

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