The Physicians Foundation, a nonprofit organization that seeks to advance the work of practicing physicians and help facilitate the delivery of healthcare to patients, has announced the completion of several health information technology (HIT) and physician leadership grants that directly assisted nearly 10,000 physicians and their practices in the selection and implementation of electronic health records (EHR) and development of leadership skills.
More than 30 grants, totaling more than $3 million, were awarded to medical society foundations and healthcare organizations across the country that aimed to create ongoing physicians resources and training programs on these topics. They included:
- Colorado Medical Society Foundation—The program conducted more than 10 physician workshops across the state on meaningful use as well as a statewide summit on EHR selection. In collaboration with the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization (CORHIO) and Colorado Regional Extension Center (CO-REC), the grant also developed and deployed an online physician portal consisting of learning modules and robust set of resources.
- Maine Primary Care Association—The project built upon MPCA's data warehouse to provide EHR hosting for small practices, interface its data warehouse with the state immunization registry, and connect small practices to the statewide health information exchanges (HIE). By grant completion, the project was able to successfully connect 11 community health centers, which account for more than 85 percent of Maine's health center patients, to the state's HIE.
- Florida Medical Foundation—The project developed a customized 10 month emerging leader program designed to train younger physicians. Developed in partnership with the Leadership Development Institute at the University of Florida, the FMA Physician Leadership Academy focuses on strategic thinking, team building, financial management and communication skills.
"Health information technology is a critical component of health reform and will continue to transform the operation of physician practices and the delivery of healthcare as the Affordable Care Act comes into full effect," Alan Plummer, M.D., Physicians Foundation vice president and chairman of the Grants committee, said in a statement. "Given the legislative and market need to adopt these systems, it is imperative physicians and healthcare providers understand all aspects of EHR adoption as well as feel confident they possess the leadership skills to navigate the current healthcare environment."