Regional Electronic Medical Record Efforts Get Grants

More than $2 million went to nine community programs to help institute local electronic health record exchanges.

Nine communities throughout the United States have been awarded funding totaling more than $2 million in support of local projects in electronic health information exchange. Sponsored through the Connecting Communities for Better Health program, which is funded by the independent, non-profit Foundation for eHealth Initiative, this is reportedly the first public-private partnership to further the regional circulation of electronic medical records.

The recipients were chosen from 134 community applicants from 42 states and the District of Columbia. Awardees were selected based on proposals that detailed the involvement of at least three stakeholder groups (health care providers, hospitals, insurers, etc.), a clinical focus, the use of standards and sources of matching funds.

The goal of the CCBH is "to support electronic health information exchange at the community level, at a time when there is growing support ... for transforming our health care system from a paper-based enterprise to a modern, electronic model," said Janet Marchibroda, CEO of the eHealth Initiative.

The federal government is fully in support of CCBH efforts; its funding of regional efforts fits squarely into the plan proposed by Dr. David Brailer, the national health information technology coordinator.

/zimages/4/28571.gifTo read the full story on Brailers health IT plan, click here.

"CCBH is emblematic of the practical, action-oriented results producing cooperation between the public and private sector that is required to advance electronic health information exchange and to inform national policy-making on HIT," Brailer said.

"Insights and evaluations from CCBH will also provide useful information, tools and resources to help reach President Bushs goal to give a majority of Americans interoperable, electronic health records in a decade."

Awardees include the following regional cooperatives:

  • Connecting Colorado (Denver)
  • Indiana Health Information Exchange (Indianapolis)
  • MA-Share MedsInfo e-Prescribing Initiative (Waltham, Mass.)
  • MD/DC Collaborative for Healthcare Information Technology, (Baltimore-Washington metro area)
  • Santa Barbara County Care Data Exchange, (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
  • Taconic Health Information Network and Community, (Fishkill, N.Y.)
  • Tri-Cities TN-VA Care Data Exchange, (Kingsport, Tenn.)
  • Whatcom County e-Prescribing Project, (Bellingham, Wash.)
  • Wisconsin Health Information Exchange, (Milwaukee)

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