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A Step Closer Toward National System for EHRs

David BlumenthalThe Department of Health and Human Services announced the finishing touches on a national system of doctors, clinics and hospitals aimed at adopting electronic medical records.

Yesterday HHS’ David Blumenthal, national coordinator for health information technology, announced the selection of the final two regional extension centers (RECs) in Florida and New Hampshire, bringing the total number such centers nationwide to 62.

The centers will assist physicians and hospitals implement electronic medical record-keeping.

“The selection of these final awardees means that Regional Extension Centers are now in place in every region of our country to help health providers make the switch from paper-based medical practice to electronic health records,” Blumenthal said.

The system of regional centers was created under the Health Information Technology Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The centers will be a boon for smaller and rural hospitals, as these facilities make the switch from paper forms to electronic medical records, Blumenthal added.

The HITECH Act also created an incentive program for doctors and hospitals that adopt the technology necessary for electronic health records.

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