Shortly after being selected as the official Regional Extension Center (REC) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI) has awarded “preferred vendor status” to GE Healthcare. The status, which applies to the company’s Centricity® Practice Solution and Centricity® Advance electronic medical record (EMR) products, means GE will be receive priority listing with the Commonwealth providers expected to seek buying advice from the REC.
The REC will recruit and enroll providers into the REC program and provide or arrange a base set of services for them including orientation education, the List of Preferred EHR Vendors and EHR solutions and a list of implementation optimization organizations (IOO) which have been certified through a separate process. Through the REC-Affiliated Provider’s own research and experience, and with assistance from the REC, the REC-Affiliated Provider will, at its sole discretion, choose a Certified IOO and may choose an EHR Vendor from the list.
“The preferred status is an honor,” said Jim Corrigan, Vice President and General Manager of GE Healthcare IT. “We look forward to leveraging the status as we assist and educate our customers throughout the Commonwealth along the vital but often complicated path toward digital medical records.”
GE Healthcare will work with the REC to advocate assistance to customers and will continue to drive awareness and education around Meaningful Use and Core Clinical Values. Both the Centricity Practice Solution and Centricity Advance products received preliminary CCHIT Certified® 2011 status, a precursor to achieving “meaningful use,” prior to CCHIT’s approval by the Office of the National Coordinator of Healthcare IT (ONC) as an official certifying body. The company will now submit for final consideration.
"We are pleased to have GE Healthcare join our select list of certified health IT companies that will help thousands of health care providers across Massachusetts successfully transition to electronic health records," said Rick Shoup, Ph.D., Director of the Massachusetts e-Health Institute. "Widespread deployment of electronic health records leads to better quality care for patients, reduces health care costs and spurs new jobs in the health care industry."
By 2015, providers are expected to have adopted and to be actively using EHR systems in compliance with the “meaningful use” definitions that have been developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the ONC. Eligible Medicare-participating providers that do not reach this goal by 2015 will be subject to penalties under the Medicare program.
Because experience has shown that local technical assistance can result in effective implementation of EHR systems, the HITECH Act of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided for the ONC to establish and fund RECs across the country. The RECs are intended to furnish assistance, both educational and technical, to help providers successfully implement and achieve “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology in accordance with the objectives of the HITECH Act. MeHI has been designated by the Governor of the Commonwealth and funded by ONC to serve as the single REC for the Commonwealth.
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare (gehealthcare.com) provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.
Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employees are committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries.