About us

Our Mission:
To provide accessible and effective solutions, technical resources and educational programs to facilitate the transformation of primary care practices in Puerto Rico (PR) and US Virgin Islands (USVI) through the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology.

The Ponce School of Medicine Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center will support health care providers in the region with direct, individualized, and on-site technical assistance in:

  • Evaluation of your practices workflow needs;
  • Selecting a certified EHR product that offers best value for the providers’ needs;
  • Providing technical assistance, guidance, and information to support and accelerate health care providers' efforts in becoming meaningful users of Electronic Health Records (EHR);
  • Achieving effective implementation of a certified EHR product;
  • Enhancing clinical and administrative workflows to optimally leverage an EHR system’s potential to improve quality and value of care, including patient experience as well as outcome of care; and
  • Observing and complying with applicable legal, regulatory, professional, and ethical requirements to protect the integrity, privacy, and security of patients’ health information.


The Health Information Technology Extension Program

This program established a network of Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers (Regional Extension Centers) that offers technical assistance, guidance, and information on best practices to support and accelerate health care providers’ efforts to become meaningful users of EHRs.

The Regional Extension Centers will each serve a defined geographic area for coverage across the country. In total, there are 60 nationwide Regional Extension Centers that will support at least 100,000 priority primary care providers (small practices and those serving safety-net populations), through participating non-profit organizations, in achieving meaningful use of EHRs and enabling nationwide health information exchange.  It is projected that at least 4,140 priority primary care providers from Puerto Rico and the (USVI)  will participate in the PSM REC in its first two years of operation.

The Regional Extension Program also established a national Health Information Technology Research Center (HITRC), funded separately, which will gather relevant information on effective practices from a wide variety of sources across the country and help the Regional Extension Centers collaborate with one another and with relevant stakeholders to identify and share best practices in EHR adoption, effective use, and provider support. The HITRC will build a virtual community of shared learning to advance best practices that support providers’ adoption and meaningful use of EHRs.

Funding from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, in the form of cooperative agreements, for this program will be awarded in two cycles. The first cycle of awards, announced on February 12, 2010, provided $375 million to create 32 Regional Extension Centers.  The second round was announced April 6, 2010 with more than $267 million awarded to 28 additional non-profit organizations to establish Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers (RECs).

This second round of awards, brings the total number of REC’s to 60, and will provide nationwide outreach and technical support services to at least 100,000 primary care providers and hospitals within two years.

For more information, please visit http://healthit.hhs.gov/programs/rec. 

HITECH Background
The Health Information Technology Extension Program is one of the many programs created through the HITECH Act of 2009. The HITECH Act seeks to improve American health care delivery and patient care through an unprecedented investment in health information technology. The provisions of the HITECH Act are specifically designed to work together to provide the necessary assistance and technical support to providers, enable coordination and alignment within and among states, establish connectivity to the public health community in case of emergencies, and assure the workforce is properly trained and equipped to be meaningful users of EHRs. Combined these programs build the foundation for every American to benefit from an electronic health record, as part of a modernized, interconnected, and vastly improved system of care delivery.

The HITECH Act amends Title XXX of the Public Health Service Act by adding Section 3012, Health Information Technology Implementation Assistance. This section provides supportive services for the rest of the HITECH Act. Section 3012 (a) establishes the Health Information Technology Extension Program (Extension Program) which consists of both the Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers (Regional Extension Centers) and the Health Information Technology Research Center (HITRC).

The HITECH Act also authorizes additional programs, initiatives, and regulations including those related to strengthening health information exchange, health IT innovation, the health IT workforce, Beacon communities, standards and certification, and the Medicare & Medicaid EHR incentive programs. Information on these initiatives can be found at http://healthit.hhs.gov.

Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), within the Department of Health and Human Services, is the principal federal entity working to improve health care quality, safety, and efficiency through the promotion of health information technology and electronic health information exchange.

Mission: A health system that uses information to empower individuals to improve the health of the population.

Vision: To improve health and health care for all Americans through use of information technology.

Health IT Extension Program: http://healthit.hhs.gov/programs/rec Health IT: http://healthit.hhs.gov

If you are a priority care physician or if you would simply like to learn more please check out the information pertaining to the services for Physicians.

An electronic copy of this document can be found here.

 

Copyright © 2011 PSM-HITREC. All Rights Reserved. Funded by: USHHS, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).