CHIME and ONC Offer Support to Regional Extension Centers

ANN ARBOR, MI, September 24, 2010 -- The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) have issued a joint letter to Regional Extension Center (REC) project officers across the nation seeking their collaboration in achieving an electronically enabled healthcare system.

The letter encourages RECs to align themselves with CHIME StateNet Coordinators to realize their health information technology initiatives and help providers in their geographic service areas select, successfully implement, and meaningfully use certified electronic health record technology.

"Together, hospitals and primary care providers are challenged to be meaningful users of technology. Our mutual success depends on strengthening partnerships and building collaborative relationships," said the letter, signed by CHIME President and CEO Richard Correll and David Blumenthal, M.D., National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

"We appreciate the important role RECs will play in assisting providers in achieving meaningful use," the letter continued. "ONC and CHIME leadership believe hospitals have a key role in supporting the RECs to improve the quality and value of healthcare."

The letter offers to connect RECs with experienced CIOs in their state who have successfully implemented EHRs in their organizations. These CIOs also have managed vendor relations, optimized workflows, implemented privacy and security policies to comply with regulatory requirements, and engaged important stakeholders in the process.

"StateNet is eager to work with RECs across the nation to improve the quality and value of healthcare in their regions," Correll said. "By working together, we can accomplish significant milestones towards building an electronically connected, information-driven system of care."

StateNet is a 50-state network of CIOs created by CHIME to facilitate the sharing of best practices and strategies to assist information exchange development and state-level cooperation. CHIME StateNet Coordinators are experienced CIOs who have stepped forward to coordinate HIT initiatives in their state, including the adoption of EHRs by providers and regional and statewide health information exchange.

Mandated under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Regional Extension Centers provide educational and technical assistance to providers to adopt or enhance EHR systems. On-site technical assistance is a key service offered by RECs to priority primary-care providers, representing a significant portion of the REC's activities. RECs work with providers who have not yet adopted EHR systems, and with those who have existing EHR systems, to assist them in achieving meaningful use.

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,400 CIO members and over 70 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit

Stephanie Fraser
Communications Coordinator
[email protected]