Skip to content Skip to navigation

ONC Goal: 1,000 Rural Hospital Meaningful Users by End of 2014

November 20, 2012
by David Raths
| Reprints
Rural Community of Practice tracks 10 key issues, including workforce shortages

Despite the budgetary and work force challenges rural hospitals face, they are making steady progress on health information technology adoption. Between 2009 and 2011 the rural provider EHR adoption rate more than doubled, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has set an ambitious goal of 1,000 rural hospitals becoming meaningful users of health IT by the end of 2014.

In a Nov. 19 webinar sponsored by the National eHealth Collaborative, Leila Samy, rural health IT coordinator at ONC, said, “To achieve this goal, we need all hands on deck, including greater public-private collaboration.” Shenoted that from 2009 to 2012, rural pharmacies actively prescribing medication electronically increased by 50 percent. She said the number of critical access hospitals and other rural hospitals working with Regional Extension Centers (RECs) and demonstrating meaningful use has grown from 111 in May 2012 to 409 in November.

To speed adoption and share best practices, ONC created the Rural Community of Practice (CoP) and has recruited and convened leaders with expertise to roll out pilot projects. Its 10 subcommittees track the key challenges rural hospitals face: 

1. Tracking progress, needs and challenges

2. Hospital leadership tools

3. Adoption and MU roadmap and tools

4. Vendor issues: Pilot vendor-specific MU acceleration efforts

5. Workforce: Grow your own workforce!

6. Access to capital

7. Demonstrating quality improvement through health IT

8. Consumer engagement: The patient in the center and empowered!

9. Broadband

10. Dissemination

Samy described two recent pilot projects. The first involves a partnership betweenRECs serving five states and Healthland, an EHR vendor dedicated to rural health, to identify best practices that can be scaled to other regions. The second offers custom training for rural hospital staff members.

Pitt Community College Consortium in North Carolina will develop and offer custom training based on the needs described by rural health care providers.

Other speakers during the webinar included Yael Harris from the Health Resources and Services Administration, Sally Buck from the National Rural Health Resource Center in Minnesota, Marcia Cheadle from Inland Northwest Health Services, and Wes Gipe, CEO of Agil IT.

Topics

News

IBM Watson Health Hires Health IT Vet Paul Tang as Chief Health Transformation Officer

May 27, 2016
Paul Tang, M.D., former vice president and chief innovation and technology officer at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in California, has joined IBM Watson Health as its vice president and chief health transformation officer.

Mayo Clinic Gets $142M to Serve as Precision Medicine Initiative Biobank

May 27, 2016
Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic will be awarded $142 million in funding over five years by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to serve as the national Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Cohort Program biobank.

House Ways and Means Committee Advances Bill to Provide Regulatory Relief for Docs

May 26, 2016
The U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means has passed a bill that among other provisions, would provide relief to hospital outpatient departments as well as consider patients’ socioeconomic status before penalizing hospitals in the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program.

Health IT Leaders Address Cybersecurity Responsibilities at HHS during Congressional Hearing

May 25, 2016
During a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing, healthcare IT leaders and security experts testified in support of proposed legislation to elevate and empower the CISO at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Study: Automated, Real-Time Surveillance Significantly Reduced Sepsis Mortality

May 25, 2016
Automated surveillance and real-time analysis led to a significant reduction in sepsis mortality at Alabama’s Huntsville Hospital, according to research recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA).

Report: Bill to Fight Zika Could Strip HHS of MACRA Funds

May 25, 2016
With a House bill providing money to fight the Zika virus pending, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) may be stripped of funds that it was planning to use for Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) information technology provisions, according to a Morning Consult report.

Healthcare Organizations Push to Look at New Data Sources to Assess Telemedicine in Medicare

May 24, 2016
Several healthcare organizations have sent a letter to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) regarding the use of alternative data sources for cost estimates and analyses of telemedicine utilization in the Medicare program.

Study: Sharing Visit Notes with Patients Improves Patient Satisfaction, Trust and Safety

May 24, 2016
Improving transparency between physicians and their patients by allowing patients to view their visit notes in their health records can improve patient satisfaction, trust and safety, according to a recently published study.

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Awards $3M to Regional Telemedicine Programs

May 24, 2016
Baltimore-based CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield plans to award nearly $3 million to ten healthcare organizations to help develop or expand existing regional telemedicine initiatives.

Intermountain Launches New Telehealth Service

May 24, 2016
Intermountain Healthcare has launched a new telehealth service that connects patients in Idaho and Utah with the health system’s providers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through video and audio conferencing on the web.

Kansas Heart Hospital Hit With Ransomware; Hackers Do Not Unlock Files After Receiving Ransom Payment

May 23, 2016
Wichita, Kan.-based Kansas Heart Hospital was hit with a ransomware attack last Wednesday, but after the hospital paid an undisclosed ransom, the hackers demanded more, according to local news reports.

Intermountain Healthcare Names New CEO

May 23, 2016
Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare has appointed A. Marc Harrison, M.D., as its new president and CEO to take the helm when current CEO Charles Sorenson, M.D., retires in October.

Study: Hospitals Making Significant Investments in Smartphone-Based Communications

May 20, 2016
Sixty-three percent of hospitals and health systems have deployed or plan to deploy a mobile communications platform supporting more than 500 smartphones in the next year, according to a new survey from Spyglass Consulting Group.

UConn Health Appoints Dirk Stanley, M.D., as First CMIO to Oversee EMR Implementation Project

May 20, 2016
The University of Connecticut Health Center (UConn Health), based in Farmington, Conn., has announced the appointment of Dirk Stanley, M.D., as its first Chief Medical Information Officer.

Potential Data Breach at Children’s National Health System Due to Vendor Misconfiguration

May 20, 2016
Children’s National Health System, based in Washington, D.C., has issued a notice about a potential data breach after a third-party vendor inadvertently misconfigured a file site that enabled patient information to be accessed online.

Pages