The New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) Regional Extension Center (REC) has become the first and currently only REC in the nation to certify over 1,000 providers for the federally defined Meaningful Use, which qualifies them for reimbursements.
"It's a great feeling to have helped so many providers achieve real results from using electronic medical records, which is what the term 'Meaningful Use' is all about," said Paul Wilder, Director of the NYeC REC. "The business partnerships we've developed with the local organizations around the state, including many Regional Health Information Organizations, have been an important part of our success as a REC. New York State has made some pioneering investments in health IT and we've been able to build upon that."
The federal REC program provides educational and support services to help mainly primary care providers and small practices—for whom the transition can be most challenging—adopt health IT. Meaningful Use includes electronically keeping records of patients' demographics, electronic prescribing, and providing patients with an electronic copy of their health information.
The providers at Myrtle Street OB-GYN, a bustling practice in Saratoga Springs, NY, were among the first in the state to join the REC and qualify for Meaningful Use.
"Myrtle Street OB-GYN was an early adopter of electronic health records because we recognized back in the spring of 2006 that not only would it improve the care we provide our patients, it creates measurable efficiencies that allow us to run a tighter business. Achieving Meaningful Use is just the next step for us in continuing to embrace health technology," said Practice Administrator Louise West.
In New Hartford, NY, Dr. Samuel K. Gooldy, Chief of Family Practice at Saint Elizabeth's Hospital, also runs a highly-wired primary care practice. His son Eric manages the practice's IT needs. "In achieving Meaningful Use we have shown that we are tracking and documenting our patients' progress in real time. This allows us to provide the best care we can for each individual patient," Dr. Gooldy said.
The New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) is designated by the state and federal government to advance health IT throughout the State of New York. NYeC works to develop policies and standards, to assist healthcare providers in making the shift to electronic health records, and to coordinate the creation of a network to connect healthcare providers statewide. The goal of NYeC is that no patient, wherever they may need treatment within the State of New York, is ever without fast, secure, accurate, and accessible information. For more information visit www.nyehealth.org.