CDW, California Agency Partner To Push EHR Adoption - InformationWeek

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Healthcare // Electronic Health Records
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12/15/2011
10:24 AM
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CDW, California Agency Partner To Push EHR Adoption

CDW Healthcare partners up with the California Health Information Partnership and Services Organization to deliver technology services to docs implementing EHRs.

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In an effort to broaden its outreach to physicians in California, CDW Healthcare recently announced that it has joined forces with the California Health Information Partnership and Services Organization (CalHIPSO) to offer technology services and support to providers installing electronic health records (EHRs).

CalHIPSO, which is a federally-designated Regional Extension Center (REC), supports more than 6,500 clinical provider members, 4,700 of which have yet to adopt an EHR. For these providers, as well as the 2,112 that have already adopted the technology, CDW will offer help with EHR selection, installation, and post-implementation training and support. CalHIPSO members will pay for the service, but officials say they'll receive a discount through a group purchasing arrangement.

"CDW Healthcare has a team dedicated specifically for CalHIPSO. The team includes an account management team, project managers, system engineers, onsite technicians, as well as trained staff around Meaningful Use attestation," said Bob Rossi, vice president of CDW Healthcare, in an interview with InformationWeek Healthcare.

Rossi said many small and large healthcare organizations face challenges when they implement EHR systems. These difficulties include workflow analysis and change, leveraging technology, and the challenge of basic conversion from paper to an electronic format.

[ For more background on e-prescribing tools, see 6 E-Prescribing Vendors To Watch. ]

Rossi also said CDW Healthcare has experience implementing all certified EHR systems, and can provide information on hosting support, bandwidth needs, and infrastructure. His organization will also address members' needs for cloud-based applications and can assist with the technology requirements for an on-premises Web-based application.

CalHIPSO has negotiated agreements with seven EHR application providers and plans to begin a second round of vendor selection in early 2012. Its members have access to an online portal for the selection and acquisition of technology. As part of the agreement, CDW Healthcare offers a broad array of supporting hardware and software through the portal.

Bre Jackson, chief information officer at CalHIPSO, told InformationWeek Healthcare that many provider members face difficulty finding funding for start-up costs when they begin the process of adopting EHRs.

"CDW Healthcare takes practice size and EHR type into account when making software recommendations for our providers. This saves providers the time it would take to conduct extensive hardware research on their own," Jackson said. "We were looking for a simpler and more affordable way for providers to make decisions about purchasing hardware, and working with CDW Healthcare helped us achieve that."

CalHIPSO is primarily supported through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding made available from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. It is responsible for a wide range of activities, including enrolling providers for REC services; EHR vendor contracting; assisting with EHR selection and implementation; health information technology education; and training and supporting providers to achieve Meaningful Use of EHRs.

When are emerging technologies ready for clinical use? In the new issue of InformationWeek Healthcare, find out how three promising innovations--personalized medicine, clinical analytics, and natural language processing--show the trade-offs. Download the issue now. (Free registration required.)

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Lisa Henderson
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Lisa Henderson,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/16/2011 | 2:08:40 AM
re: CDW, California Agency Partner To Push EHR Adoption
4,700 clinicians out of 6,500 have not yet adopted EHR? What a resounding support for the program. Sounds like an education or public relations problem nationwide to me.

Lisa Henderson, InformationWeek Healthcare, contributing editor
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