Majority of RECs Offer In-Person, On-Site Support for EHR Users

Twenty-seven of 60 regional extension centers reported they offer in-person, on-site support for primary care physicians who use electronic health records, according to eHealth Initiative's 2011 REC Survey Report.

RECs were created under the HITECH portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to provide technical assistance and support to healthcare providers switching from paper-based medical practice to EHRs.

For its study, eHealth Initiative surveyed RECs on a variety of issues, including fees, approaches for assistance and sustainability, and collaborations. Note: While the survey was distributed to 62 RECs, only 39 completed the survey in its entirety. Key findings from the report include the following:

• Seventeen of 60 RECs offer limited on-site support coupled with remote support, while 10 other RECs offer a flat service package with extra support at additional costs.
• Eighteen of 36 respondents expect the EHR vendor will take on a partnering role in marketing services.
• Twenty-one RECs require a flat fee for services, while five RECs utilize a service per hour model and another five RECs utilize a subscription model with tiered services.
• Fourteen RECs require no annual fee from primary care physicians.

Related Articles on RECs:
Vermont REC: 75% of Primary Care Physicians Have Switched to EHRs
Massachusetts REC Leads Nation in Recruiting Physicians
South Carolina REC Partakes in Pilot for Secure Exchange of Lab Information

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