Regional Extension Center (REC) Overview

On April 8, 2010 eHealthConnecticut received a $5.7 million grant from the Office of the National Coordinator, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support health care providers in accelerating the adoption of health information technology.

REC Mission and Vision

  • Mission - Help Connecticut's providers select, implement, and achieve meaningful use of Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems in order to enhance health care quality, safety and efficiency.
  • Vision - Serve at least 2,300 of the state’s 8,000 practicing physicians during the next four years. In the long term our objective is to have 80% of Connecticut’s providers live with EHR systems and interoperating via Health Information Exchange. In the first two years we will serve at least 1,338 “priority” providers, or those in small practices or caring for underserved patient populations.

Providers seeking to meaningfully use EHRs face a variety of challenging tasks. Those tasks include assessing needs, selecting and negotiating with a system vendor or reseller, implementing project management, and instituting workflow changes to improve clinical performance and ultimately, outcomes. In turn, eligible providers who attain meaningful use will become eligible to receive up to $65,000 in incentive payments under the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2010

The REC will focus its most intensive technical assistance on clinicians (physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners) furnishing primary-care services, with a particular emphasis on individual and small group practices (fewer than 10 clinicians with prescriptive privileges). The REC will also focus intensive technical assistance on clinicians providing primary care in public and critical access hospitals, community health centers, and in other settings that predominantly serve uninsured, underinsured, and medically underserved populations.

The eHealthConnecticut REC is organized in the following manner to most efficiently reach these goals:

Core Services – Administer the Grant, Set Policies, Register Provider Clients, Develop Training Curriculum, Manage Vendor Relationships.

Channel Partners – Physician Organizations and Major Stakeholders whose provider members are referred for REC services.

Direct Assistance Contractors – Organizations who provide the consulting services necessary to help practice achieve meaningful use.