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Grant will aid electronic medical record development, use

April 28, 2011

In an effort to reduce the use of paper-based health records, Arizona State University’s Department of Biomedical Informatics (BMI) is collaborating with the Arizona Health-e Connection (AzHeC) in a project to aid the adoption of electronic health records. The $1.5 million grant to ASU is a sub-award of a $10.8 million grant to AzHeC by the Office of the National Coordinator with money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It will run through the summer of 2012 with expected extension to 2014.

“The ASU portion of the project involves creating education materials, training of interns for workforce roles, planning and carrying out education events and working with advanced practices to demonstrate the potential of health information technology,” said Robert Greenes, director of BMI.

Expanding the use of electronic health records is fundamental to improving the U.S. health care system, Greenes added. Electronic health records can help reduce medical errors, make health care more efficient and improve the quality of medical care for all Americans.

However, a report by the Center for Health Information and Research shows that nearly 75 percent of Arizona doctors do not use electronic health records. BMI and AzHeC are working to support Arizona doctors in the transition to electronic record keeping and improving access to medical care in the state.

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act has set a goal for all people in the U.S to have an electronic health record by 2014. The HITECH Act was created to protect the rights of consumers as their information would be transferred to electronic form. The HITECH Act is heavily monitored to ensure the security of private health information.

Jaclyn Hawtin,
Department of Biomedical Informatics