HRSA awarded $18.9 million in grants to health center controlled networks and large multi-site health centers to adopt and implement electronic health records and other health information technology innovations. According to HRSA Administrator Elizabeth M. Duke “These funds continue our efforts to help health center grantees access and use the latest technology to improve the care they deliver. Health information technology has the potential to transform care for underserved communities and its expansion is a priority for all Americans.
Twelve grants totaling more than $14.3 million will support the implementation of EHRs. Grants worth almost $3.8 million will help 10 other grantees implement other HIT innovations, including electronic prescribing, health information exchanges, data warehouses, and interoperability with outside partners such as state immunization registries and hospitals. Another six grants totaling over $700,000, will support planning activities to prepare health centers to adopt electronic health records and other health information technology innovations.
HRSA funded health centers treat more than 16 million people each year and support more than 1,000 health centers operating in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin. Health centers serve migrant health needs, healthcare for the homeless, and provides primary healthcare for residents of public housing.
The range of services offered at health centers has increased along with the number of patients served. In 2007, almost 2.8 million patients received dental services, and over 600,000 patients came to health centers for mental healthcare and/or substance abuse services.
For the list of grantees, go to http://newsroom.hrsa.gov/releases/2008/expandhit.htm .