The national extension program established a network of Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers (Regional Extension Centers) to offer technical assistance, guidance, and information of best practices to support and accelerate health care providers’ efforts to become meaningful users of EHRs. Regional Extension Centers (RECs) serve as a support and resource center to assist providers in EHR implementation and HealthIT needs. As trusted advisors, RECs “bridge the technology gap” by helping providers navigate the EHR adoption process from vendor selection and workflow analysis to implementation and meaningful use. The Regional Extension Centers support over 100,000 priority primary care providers nationwide.
The 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.