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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology and Quality

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April/May 2012 - Subscribe to Health Information Technology and Quality eNews

Health IT and Quality Events

HRSA Events

  • HRSA’s Health IT and Quality Webinar, "Continuity and Resiliency for Health IT Systems: Preparing for Unforeseen Events," Friday April 27, 2pm ET, Registration Open
  • HRSA’s Health IT and Quality Webinar, “Using Health IT for Care Coordination Across Inpatient and Outpatient Settings,” Friday May 18, 2pm ET, Registration Open.

Other Federal and Non-Federal Events

  • National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) Webinar, "HIMSS JOBMINE- Tool for Recruiting Health IT Professionals", Tuesday May 10, 2pm ET. Registration Open.exit disclaimer For more information or questions, Shane Hickey, NACHC's Director, Information Technology Assistance.
  • National Association of Community Health Centers Webinar, "Got Meaningful Use Incentive Dollars Overcoming Challenges and Barriers by Bringing an Expert Federal Panel to You", Friday May 11, 2pm ET. Registration Open exit disclaimer. For more information or questions, contact Shane Hickey, NACHC's Director, Information Technology Assistance.
  • National Institutes of Standards and Technology, “Safeguarding Health Information: Building Assurance through HIPAA Security” June 6-7, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. More conference details >>

Meaningful Use Round-Up

New Rural Health IT Toolkit

Through funding by the Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP), the Rural Assistance Center exit disclaimer and the National Rural Health Resource Center exit disclaimer have developed a new Rural Health IT Toolkit exit disclaimer. The toolkit is intended to serve as a resource on health IT for rural health care providers.  This new toolkit includes resources related to understanding health IT, the role of various federal agencies, the legislation mandating meaningful use, and technical assistance resources to support meaningful use.

The new rural health IT toolkit, provides a wealth of information, including:

  • Information on finding capital funding;
  • Material about training programs available online from community colleges;
  • Legislation that impacts health IT; and
  • Federal resources for continued project development.

For more information, visit the new Rural Health IT Toolkit exit disclaimer

National Quality Forum Webinar: "eMeasure Implementation: Implications in Small Practice Settings" Now Online

In March, the National Quality Forum produced a webinar on eMeasure Implementation in Small Practice Settings. The webinar covered the following issues:

    • The importance of electronic measurement within small practice settings;
    • Best practices in implementing eMeasures within Ambulatory Electronic Health Records;
    • eMeasure implementation results, challenges, and the work that lies ahead; and
    • More about the eMeasure Learning Collaborative and its value to small practice providers.

Access the recording and learn more about the webinar >> exit disclaimer

Health Information Technology Workforce Resources

Departments of Health and Human Services and Labor Memorandum of  Understanding for Health IT Workforce Training

The departments of Health and Human Services and Labor recently signed a memorandum of understanding to support community and technical colleges in training health information technology (IT) professionals who work at rural hospitals and clinics. Dr. Mary Wakefield, Health Resources and Services Administration Administrator, stated: “Health IT has the potential to improve the quality, access and efficiency of health care delivery, especially in our nation's rural areas."  Dr. Wakefield also said, "To achieve this aim, it is essential that we have a skilled health IT workforce. This memorandum of understanding with our colleagues at the Department of Labor will build on existing collaborations to help ease the challenges of geographic isolation and staff shortages faced by rural communities and help move us toward our mutual goal of Health IT workforce development."  This agreement was one of several steps the White House announced in an effort to strengthen the economy and create jobs.

View the Memorandum of Understanding >> exit disclaimer  

HIMSS JobMine – Connecting Health IT Professionals to Safety Net Providers- Register Below Special Informational Webinar in May Sponsored by NACHC

The Health Information Management Systems Society’s (HIMSS) Career Services Center is excited to announce its expanded focus to support the health IT and workforce development needs of safety net providers throughout the United States.  Through this effort, Health Recourses and Services’s grantees are able to leverage the HIMSS ® JobMine site to post and search resumes, take advantage of career development services, and post job openings – all at no charge.

Learn More:

Competency Exam for Health IT Professionals

A limited number of vouchers for individuals to take the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology’s Health IT Professional Competence Exams are currently available to individuals working for HRSA or at a safety net provider setting. These exams enable health IT professionals, employers, and other stakeholders to assess and validate health IT competency levels.  The exams may also be used by employers to identify training gaps and personnel needs integral to achieving meaningful use of electronic health information.

This voucher waives one exam fee and can be used for any one of the six available exams:   

  •    Clinician/Practitioner Consultant
  •    Implementation Manager 
  •    Implementation Support Specialist 
  •    Practice Workflow & Information Management Redesign Specialist 
  •    Technical/Software Support Staff 
  •    Trainer 

For more information about the Competency Exam, please visit ONC’s Competency Examination Program website. 

To request a voucher or for additional questions please contact or visit HRSA’s Health IT Workforce website.

New "Network Guide” for HRSA Grantees

The Network Guide is a directory of Health Center Networks that offers helpful tips to engage directly with potential network partners.  It is a user-friendly resource for grantees of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), safety net providers, and all health care organizations seeking information and technical assistance with their quality improvement and operational efforts.  The Guide is a collaborative project between HRSA and the National Association of Community Health Centers.exit disclaimer

Health Center Networks have a strong history of providing quality service and support to their health center(s) and other member organizations, often at reduced costs achieved by leveraging economies of scale under a shared governance structure.  To support stakeholders in their consideration and selection of a Health Center Network partner, the Guide provides:

  • Data from more than 40 networks about their activities in quality and health care delivery improvement, operational management, and HIT in the safety net.
  • 25 tables of data to enable the user to distinguish among the networks’ different approaches, services, and areas of expertise.

The Guide will be routinely updated to include health centers and other networks.

Please go to the Network Guide portal to access the Guide.

Questions can be submitted to

ICD-10 Update: CMS Issues New Compliance Dates

For more information,visit the HRSA ICD-10 for Safety Net Providers web page and the CMS’s ICD-10 website.

mhealth News

For more news, visit the Federal mHealth website. 

Quality Improvement Grantee Spotlight: El Rio Health Centers Using Clinical Reporting Tools and Data to Improve Health Outcomes

This month, HRSA’s Quality Improvement (QI) website highlights the work of El Rio Community Health Center. El Rio, a Bureau of Primary Health Care grantee, (BPHC) uses electronic medical record (EMR)-based clinical reporting tools to improve patient follow-up for preventive services. El Rio’s clinical reporting tools such as blood pressure checks, flu shots and HbA1c testing, target patients with chronic diseases Adhering to these preventive services is critical in helping El Rio patients manage their chronic diseases. This spotlight demonstrates how El Rio uses this patient data from their EMR system to improve health outcomes among their patient population suffering from chronic diseases.

To read more about this grantee's story, as well as additional grantee stories, visit the Quality Improvement Grantee Spotlight web page.

Health IT Grantee Spotlight - Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organization's Enabling Services Accountability Project

This month HRSA’s Health Information Technology (IT) website highlights the work of the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organization’s (AAPCHO) Enabling Services Accountability Project (ESAP).  Health centers often provide a range of non-clinical services, such as financial counseling, housing and food assistance programs, language services, immigration support and health education.  The participating health centers refer to these services as “enabling services” and emphasize their critical importance to support the care received by many low-income and minority patients.  AAPCHO’s ESAP successfully utilizes electronic health record (EHR) data on enabling services and studies the impact of these services on health care access and outcomes, and also uses its EHR for successfully decreasing health disparities within Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander (AA & NHOPI) communities.  AAPACHO’s ESAP exemplifies the important role in increasing access and quality of health care for AA & NHOPI communities, by providing specific data so that health centers can adequately compensate and deliver healthcare services.  

To read more about this grantee's story, as well as additional grantee stories, visit the Health IT Grantee Spotlight web page.