CDW Helps California Organization Push EHR Adoption

CDW is providing CalHIPSO, a federally funded health care organization in California, with IT services to help doctors adopt electronic health record platforms.

CDW Healthcare has inked a deal with the California Health Information Partnership and Services Organization (CalHIPSO) to provide the hardware and software doctors need to adopt electronic health records (EHRs) for their practices.

CalHIPSO is one of 62 federally designated Regional Extension Centers (RECs). Under the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology provides funding for RECs to train physicians on how to adopt EHRs.

The organization helps more than 7,000 clinical provider members choose and implement EHR applications. It also performs workflow analyses and helps health care organizations manage projects relating to EHR implementation, said Bre Jackson, chief information officer for CalHIPSO.

CalHIPSO works with seven EHR providers and will add additional vendors in 2012. CalHIPSO's current EHR partners are Athenahealth, eClinicalWorks, e-MDs, GE Healthcare, Greenway Medical Technologies, McKesson and NextGen Healthcare.

CDW will offer customized bundles of hardware and software to CalHIPSO's member physicians.

In addition, the vendor is providing software, virtualization, data center optimization and cloud computing to more than 15,000 health care organizations in the United States.

"We work individually with each practice to conduct technology assessments and assist with [electronic medical record] workflow analysis, hardware deployment, as well as project management of the EMR implementation and post support following implementation," Bob Rossi, vice president of CDW Healthcare, wrote in an email.

Through the partnership, CDW will make sure CalHIPSO members have the resources they need to adopt EHR applications, said Rossi. CDW conducts road shows to inform doctors about the government's meaningful use objectives for adopting EHRs.

"We want to help physicians realize they have resources like this to help them through the process," said Rossi.

Under the agreement, announced on Dec. 12, CDW will provide IT services to doctors' practices from the decision phase on choosing an EHR through post-implementation training and support.

"CDW Healthcare's intent is to help increase CalHIPSO physicians' rate of adoption across their members, whether it be a single private practice to the largest integrated health system," said Rossi.

"These partnerships mean physicians can spend less time focusing on the technology, and can instead focus their time on staff training, adjusting their workflows and making necessary management changes," he explained.

CDW has conducted a survey of 200 physician practices, called Physician Practice EHR Price Tag, which revealed how physicians can minimize the costs associated with implementing EHRs. Working with CDW will allow health care practices to make easier decisions on choosing less-costly EHR applications, Jackson wrote in an email.

"We were looking for a simpler and more affordable way for providers to make decisions about purchasing hardware, and working with CDW Healthcare helped us achieve that," said Jackson.

CalHIPSO liked that CDW takes practice size and EHR type into account when it recommends software to doctors, Jackson added.

According to a report CDW released on March 8, half of Americans distrust the privacy of EHR software but have faith in how their doctors use the data.