The Regional Extension Center (REC) program was created to provide direct technical assistance to accelerate electronic health record (EHR) adoption. The RECs are a national learning network that provides on-the-ground assistance to help providers incorporate technology into care delivery.
EHR adoption and incentive payments alone are not enough to improve quality of care. Physicians need sustained support to use technology effectively. Through technical assistance, highly trained REC staff work directly with health care providers to implement change. The Michigan Center for Effective IT Adoption (M-CEITA), led by Altarum Institute, is Michigan’s REC and part of this nationwide network, sharing best practices and raising the bar for all.
Funded by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009, one-third of the $700 million invested in RECs went toward capacity building. This capacity can be reused to further our health system improvement objectives. RECs stand ready to provide direct technical assistance for health care transformation in several key areas, including work to advance health information exchange and clinical decision support, promote cost savings, curb fraud and abuse, and manage population health.