Physicians Foundation awards 15 organizations $2M for IT projects

The Physicians Foundation, a national organization that supports the interests of physicians and their patients, announced Tuesday it awarded 15 individual grants in 13 states totaling nearly $2 million for numerous health IT projects that support high quality patient care.

Foundation officials said the grants are particularly relevant given the national push toward digital health records, and that they hope to "shape how those changes are implemented in the months and years ahead."

"Our country's healthcare workforce is already overworked, and as the government encourages a large scale move to digital records, that transition is going to have a significant impact on practicing physicians," said Foundation Board Member Ripley Hollister.  "The Foundation has made HIT a specific focus, because it wants to ensure that the move to digital records and the use of other technologies is made in a constructive, positive fashion – specifically, one that preserves and supports the doctor-patient relationship."

Projects receiving Foundation support in this round of grants include:

•    "Meaningful Use Achievement Toolkit," a program to develop and disseminate tools that assist physicians with achieving meaningful use of certified electronic record systems.
•    "HIT in Practice," a program to develop a series of supports and resources for implementation of electronic health records in small practices. 
•    Grants for assisting physicians in various states with implementing digital health records.

The health IT grants are part of a larger effort this year by the Physicians Foundation, totaling more than $4.2 million.

"Our fundamental goal in making these grants was simple," said Lou Goodman the foundation's president. "We want to help improve the practice environment for physicians so that they can more easily do what matters most to them: spend time taking care of patients."

On the next page is full list of grantees: