California-based CDW Healthcare recently announced a collaboration with the California Health Information Partnership and Services Organization (CalHIPSO) to encourage physicians throughout the state to implement medical informatics technology in their practices, reports Information Week.
A regional extension center (REC), CalHIPSO currently supports around 6,500 physician practices across California, approximately 4,700 of which do not presently use clinical informatics networks in their daily operations. The new partnership aims to provide these healthcare facilities with the support they need to select, implement and effectively utilize medical informatics technology.
Although individual practices will still be liable for the associated costs of adopting a medical informatics system, CalHIPSO claims that eligible physicians will be entitled to substantial discounts through group purchasing agreements.
For many healthcare providers, the sheer number of clinical informatics solutions currently available on the market can prove daunting.
“CDW Healthcare takes practice size and [specific medical informatics systems] into account when making software recommendations for our providers,” Bre Jackson, chief information officer at CalHIPSO, told the news source. “This saves providers the time it would take to conduct extensive hardware research on their own. We were looking for a simpler and more affordable way for providers to make decisions about purchasing hardware, and working with CDW Healthcare helped us achieve that.”
Regional extension centers have been instrumental in the adoption of clinical informatics systems across the U.S. Mat Kendall, director of the Office of Provider Adoption Support, told GovInfoSecurity that approximately one-third of primary care physicians across the country have partnered with a REC to implement medical informatics systems in the practices.
iHealthBeat reports that according to data from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, 70 percent of rural critical access hospitals are implementing clinical informatics networks through partnership with RECs, and 21 percent of primary care physicians serving underrepresented ethnic groups are undertaking similar initiatives.
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