MPCA and Maine’s community health centers continue to expand and enhance the usage of health information technology (HIT) and have been recognized as among the leaders in the nation in the adoption of HIT. To date, 95% of Maine’s health centers have implemented or are planning to implement electronic health records – representing a significant increase in comparison to the 22% adoption rate currently quoted for ambulatory practices nationwide.
To meet the growing and developing needs of health centers, MPCA and Maine’s health center controlled network, CONNECT, have expanded its HIT focus beyond adoption to include effective reporting and sharing of information. This initiative ensures the benefits and capabilities of having electronic health records (EHRs) in place are maximized. It will also serve as the underlying theme for forums hosted by MPCA, which provide health centers with an opportunity to come together and collaborate around the five EHR platforms in place in Maine’s health center settings.
The advent of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ EHR Incentive Program, otherwise known as Meaningful Use, aligns with many efforts underway at MPCA, and has become a focal point for the organization with helping members qualify for almost $10 million over six years in incentive payments. All of Maine’s health centers are moving to upgrade their EHRs to certified versions of their platforms to qualify for the program.
MPCA has several initiatives underway to support achievement of meaningful use, these initiatives include:
- Interfacing with ImmPact, the state immunization registry
- Developing a data repository or warehouse to aggregate health center data
- Linking health centers to HealthInfoNet – the organization slated to manages a secure electronic network for Maine, called a health information exchange, where health care providers can share important medical information on their patients.
- Sharing de-identified syndromic surveillance data with Maine CDC
- Providing information and technical assistance on Meaningful Use developments
- Hosting EMR platform specific forums to allow health centers to identify best practices in moving forward with reporting and information sharing – the cornerstones of Meaningful Use
- Modeling these HIT innovations for small practices in Maine.
Our efforts in HIT dovetail with our clinical quality improvement initiatives - including the Patient Centered Medical Home collaborative - to bridge best practices in patient care with the necessary data collection, reporting and sharing required to generate informed health care decisions for every patient.
For more information about our health information technology initiatives, contact Bob Kohl, Chief Information Officer.