REACH—the Regional Extension Assistance Center for HIT—is a nonprofit federal Health Information Technology (HIT) Regional Extension Center dedicated to helping providers in clinics, small hospitals, and other settings in Minnesota and North Dakota improve care by implementing and using electronic health record (EHR) systems. REACH is one of 60 regional HIT extension centers, which were established by the federal government early in 2010.
REACH is a program of Key Health Alliance, a partnership of Stratis Health, National Rural Health Resource Center, and The College of St. Scholastica, which collaborates with North Dakota Health Care Review and the University of North Dakota, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Center for Rural Health.
These five organizations have a long history of working to improve health care and have a wealth of experience in health care quality, education, patient safety initiatives, and HIT. We have worked extensively with providers in Minnesota and North Dakota. Collectively, the REACH partners have served thousands of providers and organizations in HIT over the past five years. Stratis Health has successfully assisted more than 100 Minnesota adult primary care clinics and hospitals through its EHR adoption and implementation services and support, and achieved an overall participant satisfaction rate of 93.5% for its EHR work under its Medicare Quality Improvement Organization contract.
REACH services are designed to take your organization from its current state—whether you have no EHR or only need to optimize your current system—to stage 1 meaningful use in 12 months or less. Services include:
REACH support does not include funds for hardware or software for any provider.
REACH uses a process consultation approach, focused on providing you with the skills and tools needed to make changes. We teach you how to make HIT decisions, empowering you to make changes in an informed and sustainable way. Processes and technologies are constantly changing and you will continue to need these skills in the future.
REACH believes the key to improving quality and patient safety, and to achieving a positive ROI on an EHR investment, comes when organizations have the right leadership, culture, process, and workflow in place. REACH works with providers to make sure these organizational factors align for HIT success.
REACH technical assistance is a mix of individualized on-site assistance with direct hands-on support, consultations, and group learning collaboratives. Educational resources include toolkits, educational Webinars, and Web links to best practices collected from the federal Office of the National Coordinator (ONC).
REACH services are available to Minnesota and North Dakota providers of all types and sizes across the continuum of care. Whether you have:
Eligible providers must meet the following criteria.
In most cases, significant discounts will be available to you too. The clinic needs a critical mass of primary care providers.
The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) created the EHR subsidy for technical assistance as an incentive with the belief that if all providers use electronic health records effectively, the safety, quality, and efficiency of care will improve, in turn reducing overall health care costs.
Half of REACH funding comes through the ONC, Department of Health and Human Services, through ARRA. The other half comes from participation fees and other grant funding. ONC will release funding to KHA incrementally as participating primary care providers reach the following milestones toward meaningful use.
REACH aims to provide technical assistance services and support to 5,100 priority primary care physicians and other clinicians in Minnesota and North Dakota over the next four years. REACH is committed to helping more than 350 clinics reach meaningful use of EHR systems by 2012.
REACH will only work with nationally certified EHR vendor products. At this point REACH works with many different vendors. As this program evolves, REACH may focus on a select group of preferred EHR vendors / products for group purchasing and implementation cost-saving efficiencies.
The organizations that make up REACH have a long term focus on improving the quality and safety of patient care using technology tools. We offer you:
We have extensive experience helping small practices and working with rural providers. Many of the larger consulting services with comparable experience have focused on large hospitals.
We don’t get paid by the federal government unless you achieve meaningful use.