The New Jersey Health Information Technology Extension Center, a federally funded support program established by the New Jersey Institute of Technology, announced Thursday that 5,000 health care providers had signed up to take part in the program, triggering more funding to support doctors in transferring to electronic health records.
The NJ-HITEC program reached the milestone six months before the April 2012 deadline.
According to the announcement, the doctors signed agreements to work with the center to become “meaningful users” of electronic health records, and to earn federal incentive funds made available through the federal stimulus plan.
The extension center will now help the physicians signed up for the program select an accredited electronic health records system, and do intensive training on best practices for using the system, according to Denise Anderson, director of strategic initiatives for NJ-HITEC.
“This phase of work will continue until 2015, as is it expected that electronic health information technology will increasingly become part of how high-quality health care is delivered to Americans,” said Bill O’Byrne, executive director of NJ-HITEC, in the announcement.
NJ-HITEC is one of 62 centers of its kind in the country, and was started with $23 million in grant funding from the Department of Health and Human Services as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
Anderson said NJ-HITEC is designated to help physicians in underserved markets, and participating doctors must meet certain requirements set forth by the Office of the National Coordinator in order to take advantage of the program. All its services are offered to participating doctors at no cost.