The Successes of Regional Extension Centers: 8 Takeaways

More than two-thirds of the nation's critical access hospitals and more than 44 percent of primary care physicians have participated with one of the 62 regional extension centers throughout the country, according to a new report from Health Services Research.

The RECs were created in 2010 with funding from the HITECH Act to provide assistance in the adoption and use of health IT to providers in small practices, community health centers and rural and public hospitals.

The report found RECs have been successful in fostering the use of health IT at the targeted facilities, particularly electronic health records:

The original goal of the RECs was to assist 100,000 primary care physicians with EHR adoption. The RECs have now recruited almost 134,000 primary care providers. Of those, 80 percent now have and use an EHR system and close to 50 percent have attested to meaningful use stage 1.

Among the 10,034 rural hospitals, critical access hospitals and rural health clinics enrolled with a REC, 82 percent have adopted and are using electronic health records, and 37 percent have attested to meaningful use stage 1.

More Articles on Regional Extension Centers:

Meaningful Use Outside of the Metropolis: The Challenges of Rural Health IT Adoption
#NHITWeek Day 3: REC Successes, a Framework for HIE Governance
Delaware REC First in Nation to Help 1,000 PCPs Achieve MU1

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