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.

Get the latest information on Meaningful Use and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

VETS Act Introduced to Expand Veterans’ Access to Telehealth Services

U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI), both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, reintroduced this week the Veterans E-Health and Telemedicine Support Act of 2017 (VETS Act), bipartisan legislation that aims to expand telehealth services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Mayo Clinic Makes Health Content Available via Epic’s Patient Apps

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic is now offering its health information on demand via Epic patient-facing apps such as MyChart and MyChart Bedside.

Report: Cyber Attackers Using Simple Tactics, Tools to Target Healthcare, Other Industries

The number of reported breach incidents in healthcare grew by 22 percent in 2016 from 269 breach incidents in 2015 to 328 last year, according to Symantec’s 2017 Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR).

The Sequoia Project Touts Interoperability Growth in Fifth Year

The Sequoia Project is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month by announcing that its various interoperability initiatives have grown by health organization participants, by geographic reach, and by the sheer number of health records exchanged electronically.

Report: HHS to Open Healthcare Cybersecurity Center

HHS will be opening a Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in which healthcare organizations and consumers can get educated about the risks of using mobile apps and data.

Survey: Two-Thirds of Healthcare Employees Share Confidential Data On Occasion

Seventy-two percent of employee say they would share sensitive, confidential or regulated company information under certain circumstances and 68 percent of healthcare employees report that they share confidential or regulated data on occasion, according to the Dell End-User Security Survey.