Wyoming offers free medical informatics systems to Medicare providers

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The Wyoming Department of Health has partnered with Medical Informatics Engineering (MIE) to provide access to electronic health records (EHR) to all Medicare-certified facilities across the state.

Officials at MIE say that in addition to substantially lowering the barriers to entry for smaller medical practices, its WebChart EHR will also help physicians and healthcare providers demonstrate meaningful use of medical informatics systems under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ federal financial incentive program.

The cloud-based system will enable providers who do not have the resources to invest in significant healthcare IT infrastructure improvements to access and share patient medical records through a web-based interface.

Officials hope that by making clinical informatics technology available through the cloud, rates of adoption across the state will increase.

“Initially, we had a limited EHR adoption rate in Wyoming because many of our physicians come from small to mid-sized practices and were unable to find a cost effective and efficient EHR solution that wouldn’t disrupt workflow,” James Bush, medical director of the Wyoming Department of Health, said in a statement. “Many of our physicians also believed that there was no point in having an EHR if it didn’t connect with a health information exchange (HIE), hospitals, labs, pharmacies and/or other physician specialists.”

Initial reports indicate that the initiative, which began last year, has been successful. To date, more than 36 providers, 16 practices and 31,000 patients have registered with the WebChart EHR program.

Officials from the state health department claim that the ease of use and minimal disruption to existing workflows have enabled providers across the state to receive millions of dollars in meaningful use incentive payments. Due to the success of the initiative, healthcare officials also plan to expand the scope of the program to allow patients with complex medical conditions to receive specialist care depending on their needs.