The HITECH Act authorizes a Health Information Technology Extension Program. The extension program consists of Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers (RECs) and a national Health Information Technology Research Center (HITRC). The RECs will offer technical assistance, guidance, and information to support and accelerate health care providers’ efforts to become meaningful users of Electronic Health Records (EHRs). The HITRC will be responsible for gathering relevant information on effective practices and help the RECs collaborate with one another and with relevant stakeholders to identify and share best practices in EHR adoption, effective use, and provider support.
The RECs are designed to ensure that
primary care clinicians who need help are provided with an array of
on-the-ground support to meaningfully use electronic health records (EHRs).
Providing training and support services, the RECs will assist doctors and other
providers in the adoption and meaningful use of EHR systems. The REC program
has coverage in virtually every geographic region of the United States, which
ensures sufficient community-based support. The goal of the program is to
provide outreach and support services to at least 100,000 priority primary care
providers within two years.
The REC cooperative agreements were awarded in two rounds with 32 awards announced in February 2010 and 28 in April 2010. The final number of RECs in the program is 60.
More information at the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT site:
Office of the National Coordinator for HIT