Altarum Program Hits Goal Of Helping Doctors Use Electronic Records

ANN ARBOR — The Altarum Institute’s program to help doctors more effectively use electronic health records has met the five-year goal it set in 2010.

The Michigan Center for Effective IT Adoption has reached its original grant-funded goal of helping 3,724 eligible professionals to achieve the federal designation of “meaningful use” of EHR technology. This Altarum-led program was initially funded in 2010 by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

EHRs have been shown to reduce errors, increase patient engagement, and improve practice workflow. With M-CEITA’s program, medical professionals receive the help they need to make the most of health information technology, making the EHR adoption and implementation process more seamless to receive the influx of new patients statewide.

M-CEITA is one of 62 centers nationwide focused on providing hands-on technical assistance to low-resource groups, such as primary care providers within urban, rural, and critical access settings, who may lack the technical knowledge or available staff to
support achievement of meaningful use.

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, providers working with a center like M-CEITA are twice as likely to receive an incentive payment through the EHR Incentive Program. More than $80 million in incentive payments have been made to M-CEITA clients throughout Michigan, boosting practices and local economies.

“Our center is the fifth largest in the country and has helped thousands of practices struggling to meet Meaningful Use criteria and train those that lack the in-house expertise to attain success,” said Dan Armijo, vice president and director of Altarum Institute’s Health Innovation and Technical Assistance group.

M-CEITA’s one-on-one health information technical assistance has grown well beyond the original federally funded program. In late 2014, the Michigan Department of Community Health awarded M-CEITA additional funding to support primary care providers and specialists within the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program through 2017, including assisting providers with later stages of Meaningful Use.

M-CEITA also works with MDCH on two programs designed to leverage health information technology to improve care for hypertensive and diabetic patients. Additional resources and funding allow M-CEITA to train and help providers in using technology and data to improve the quality of care for patients in communities across Michigan.

“It’s exciting to see the continued growth of the program and how it’s impacting the community,” said Anya Day, director for the Center for Implementation Science at Altarum Institute. “Going forward, these skills and technologies will greatly impact the health and well-being of our state for decades to come.”

For more information about this program, go to www.mceita.org or call 888-MICH-EHR.

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