Qualis Health Reaches 100% of Its Goal for Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records in Physician Practices

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The Qualis Health Regional Extension Center for Health Information Technology has achieved its goal of bringing nearly 2,400 enrolled eligible professionals in Idaho and Washington State to meaningful use.

Qualis Health CEO and SNMHI principal investigator Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH

Qualis Health CEO and SNMHI principal investigator Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH

Idaho and Washington have made great strides towards an electronically-enabled healthcare system, and the Qualis Health REC has played an important role by supporting clinicians as they more effectively use health IT.

The Qualis Health Regional Extension Center (REC) for Health Information Technology has achieved 100% of its goal to bring nearly 2,400 eligible doctors and other providers in Idaho and Washington State to meaningful use. Achieving meaningful use has helped these providers qualify for more than $80 million in Medicare and Medicaid incentives. With this milestone, Qualis Health is ninth among 62 RECs nationwide to reach its meaningful use goal, and the first to do so across a large, multi-state region.

Meaningful use is defined as using certified electronic health record (EHR) technology to improve healthcare quality, safety, and efficiency and to reduce health disparities. In addition, meaningful use encompasses patient and family engagement and the improvement of care coordination while maintaining the privacy and security of patient health information.

"Idaho and Washington have made great strides towards an electronically-enabled healthcare system, and the Qualis Health REC has played an important role by supporting clinicians as they more effectively use health IT," said Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH, Chief Executive Officer of Qualis Health. "Today's announcement is a testament to the dedication of practitioners and the Regional Extension Center staff. This is an important step towards improving the quality and delivery of healthcare through EHRs—but much more remains to be done."

Qualis Health was funded by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to enroll 2,369 eligible professionals and help them reach meaningful use as part of the national effort to accelerate the adoption of EHRs. Qualis Health’s REC significantly exceeded its overall enrollment goal, recruiting over 4,000 healthcare providers across both states. Healthcare providers in both states sought out the REC for assistance with EHR implementation and utilization in order to attain meaningful use of their systems.

The Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB), a federally-qualified health center serving urban American Indians and Alaska Natives, has achieved the milestone each year of their participation. “The Qualis Health REC team has truly been a partner to get us on the road to meaningful use,” says Robert Dollinger, SIHB’s Health Information Manager. “They’ve been an exceptional source of information about the meaningful use criteria, and provided a valuable perspective on how others are finding solutions that work. Having an outside expert come in and help us improve our workflow really helped us get to where we are today.”

EHRs enable healthcare providers to have ready access to vital information about a patient's medical history in order to diagnose health problems earlier, provide proactive treatments and improve patient outcomes. These technologies can help lower healthcare system costs by eliminating unnecessary or duplicative tests, reducing errors and improving clinical decision making. EHRs can also improve communication between healthcare providers, including referrals between primary care providers and specialists.

About The Qualis Health Regional Extension Center

Qualis Health is one of 62 Regional Extension Centers (RECs) funded by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) across the nation to help more than 100,000 primary care providers achieve meaningful use of their electronic health records (EHRs).

The Qualis Health Regional Extension Center has provided vendor-neutral health IT consulting services since its inception in 2010, leading to the successful adoption, implementation and use of EHRs for improving care and practice efficiency. Currently, Qualis Health consults with a broad spectrum of providers on optimal use of health information technology. For more information about the REC, visit hit.QualisHealth.org/rec.

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About Qualis Health

Qualis Health is one of the nation’s leading population health management organizations, and a leader in improving care delivery and patient outcomes, working with clients throughout the public and private sector to advance the quality, efficiency and value of healthcare for millions of Americans every day. We deliver solutions to ensure that our partners transform the care they provide, with a focus on process improvement, care management and effective use of health information technology. For more information, visit http://www.QualisHealth.org.

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Evan Stults, Executive Director, Communications
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