West Texas Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center
The West Texas Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (WTxHITREC) was chartered in 2010 to assist providers with adopting and reaching meaningful use of electronic health record technology. The WTxHITREC provides consulting services to providers in West Texas regarding the selection, implementation and meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs). Through its services to providers, the WTxHITREC is accelerating the adoption and implementation of electronic health records across West Texas. Electronic health records provide many benefits to providers and patients alike. Reminders to patients for appointments and preventative care measures, timely access to test results via patient/physician portals, clinical information exchange to support referrals, and data capture reducing the need for repeated questions and answers are but a few improvements gained through EHRs. The use of this technology can effectively shrink the distances between healthcare providers in West Texas. Through the use of EHRs, the delivery of healthcare services becomes more seamless because the continuum of care across the healthcare system is connected.
This project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Office of the National Coordinator for e-health (ONC). The project scope is intended to provide assistance to more than 1,100 primary care providers in West Texas. In addition, there is an emphasis on addressing the needs of Critical Access and Rural Hospitals. These hospitals are faced with many challenges related to health information technology such as IT professional resource scarcity, limited access to broadband internet, limited availability of support services, HIT vendor restrictions, and funding issues—just to name a few.
The WTxHITREC services include;
- Adoption: develop a roadmap to assist with the selection process of a certified EHR.
- Education and Outreach: provide materials, training events and programs on selecting, implementing and meaningfully using EHR technology to improve quality and value of health care.
- Workflow and Redesign: coach hospital in workflow design/redesign mapping
- Functional Interoperability and Health Information Exchange: provide local Health Information Exchange (HIE) and interoperability consultation.
- Meaningful Use: conduct a meaningful use gap assessment that identifies the hospital’s position in relation to the meaningful use requirements.