Welcome Message

Dear Physician:

RokStoriesWelcome to the Ponce School of Medicine Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center Website. Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Department of Health and Human Services is supporting the development of Regional Extension Centers across the United States to assist providers in adopting and implementing electronic health records (EHR) to an appropriate level of meaningful use. The Ponce School of Medicine was awarded over 19 million dollars to establish the Ponce School of Medicine Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (PSM-HITREC) to serve all of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The PSM-HITREC joins our nation’s health leaders in advancing the quality, efficiency and access to healthcare by helping increase the meaningful utilization of health information technology by the healthcare providers in our region.

The meaningful use of health information technology provides the potential for greatly increasing the health of our citizens more than ever before. It offers the potential of greater efficiency, accuracy, and lower costs through the effective use of health IT. This includes maintaining and sharing patient information, electronic invoicing, home-based health monitoring for early detection and consistent treatment, and interoperable, global data exchange for tracking of contagious diseases.

Our vision is to improve overall public health and facilitate the delivery of health care services through full implementation and meaningful use of EHRs among priority PCPs within the multi-island region. Our mission is to advance the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records among priority primary care providers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with an emphasis upon serving solo and small-group practices that serve underserved and at-risk populations. By so doing, we intend to transform healthcare delivery within our region by creating an information-driven treatment environment in which the patient and the provider join together in making the best decisions.

As a clinician, I understand that you have many concerns about how your practice will be able to afford EHR technology and make the successful transition into full adoption and ultimately meaningful use. I also understand that nowhere is it more challenging to implement the "meaningful use" of health information technology (HIT) than in solo and small practitioner offices which make up the vast majority of all practices within our region. Nevertheless, this is the time to make the transition--while the Federal government currently provides incentives towards the attainment of HIT.

The Federal December 2012 deadline is rapidly approaching when practitioners who have not implemented Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and attained meaningful use, will be penalized financially.

If you are a priority primary care physician within our service area, I invite you to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to receive education, technical assistance. This is an opportunity to select a Certified Electronic Health Record System (EHRs) in compliance with Meaningful Use requirements through the vendor selection services offered of the REC. Once you have selected an EHR system, the REC will assist your office with implementation and integration through consulting and technical assistance services.

In order to take advantages of these services please visit this PSM-HITREC website. Physicians will find all relevant information under the Physician section.

We look forward to serving you!

Olga Rodriguez de Arzola, MD, FAAP
Interim President & Dean
Ponce School of Medicine

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