Quality Partners Selected to Serve on Fed’s Health Information Technology Competency Taskforce

Task Force Will Help Establish Standards for a National Certification in Health Information Technology

PROVIDENCE, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Quality Partners of Rhode Island, a nationally recognized leader in health care quality improvement, today announced that the organization has been selected to serve on the Health Information Technology (HIT) Competency Taskforce, funded through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). The Competency Task Force is charged with identifying the roles and competencies required in order to become certified as an HIT professional, a new designation in the field of HIT.

Brenda Jenkins, RN, D.Ay., CPEHR, a Senior Program Administrator at Quality Partners, is representing the organization on the Taskforce. Ms. Jenkins was one of twelve subject matter experts participating in a kickoff panel discussion held in Chicago this month. The panel of national experts Ms. Jenkins sits on is made up of representatives from hospitals, academia and physician practice settings.

“There is an increased need for the health care workforce at the local level to not only embrace, but become proficient in harnessing technology to improve health care in our communities,” said John Keimig, president and CEO of Quality Partners of Rhode Island. “But to bring that vision to life, universal standards have to be set at the national level. Having one of our experts selected to contribute to that process validation that Quality Partners of Rhode Island is achieving our mission of leading health care quality improvement.”

Increasing HIT usage is being encouraged and supported on several fronts. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) includes language that strongly encourages hospitals and physician practices to adopt electronic health records (EHRs). In June 2010, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $83.9 million in grants to help networks of health centers adopt EHRs and other HIT systems.

Additionally, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of February 2009 provides for the establishment of Regional Extension Centers (RECs) to furnish locally-delivered assistance to primary care providers for selection, successful implementation and optimization of EHR technology to improve the quality and value of health care by satisfying the “Meaningful Use” criteria set forth by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in July 2010. Quality Partners of Rhode Island was recently named a vendor in the Rhode Island REC.

Earlier this year, the ONC awarded $84 million in funding for the Health IT Workforce Development Program, which aims to rapidly expand the availability of skilled health IT professionals, supply of which data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Department of Education, and independent studies indicates could be short as many as 50,000 qualified health IT workers in the next five years. Out of that, a grant program has been established that seeks to create or expand intensive, degree and non-degree health IT education and training programs at community colleges and technical institutes.

About Quality Partners of Rhode Island

Quality Partners is a non-profit health care quality improvement agency providing consulting, research and education services. With a staff of over forty physicians, nurses, educators, analysts and other professionals, Quality Partners is a sought-after partner to national and local government agencies, foundations, insurers, health care providers, stakeholders and educational institutions on quality improvement initiatives. Learn more at www.qualitypartnersri.org.



CONTACT:

Quality Partners of Rhode Island
Paula Mottshaw, 401-528-3258
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Rhode Island

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Practice Management  Health  Hospitals  Public Policy/Government  White House/Federal Government

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