Your Local Regional Extension Center Can Help
Regional Extension Centers (RECs) are located in every region of the country to help health care organizations select, implement, and become adept and meaningful users of electronic health records (EHRs). Most of the RECs have received extra funding to help critical access hospitals (CAHs) and rural hospitals convert from paper-based records to certified EHRs. In 2010 and 2011, ONC made available to RECs over $27 million in supplemental funds to target up to 1,501 CAHs and other small rural hospitals. Contact your local REC to find out if you are eligible for free or reduced-price support.
Rural Health Networks
Rural health networks also play a vital role in improving rural health care and supporting EHR adoption. Forming networks with other rural health care organizations can enable your organization to learn from peers who have overcome EHR implementation barriers unique to rural health care settings. In rural health care settings, where health IT personnel and expertise are often limited and collaboration between organizations is often difficult due to great distances between health care organizations, rural health networks can be instrumental support mechanisms.
For More Information
For more information about EHR implementation support in rural health care settings, see the following resources.