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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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Health Information Technology and Quality Newsletter


November 2012 - Subscribe to Health Information Technology and Quality eNews

Upcoming Health IT and Quality Events

  HRSA Events

  • HRSA Health Information Technology (IT) and Quality Webinar: “Patient Charting and Documentation Using an Electronic Health Records for Nurses and Allied Health Professionals,” Friday, November 16, 2 pm ET. Register Now exit disclaimer
  • HRSA Health IT and Quality Webinar: “Meaningfully Using Computerized Provider Order Entry within Safety Net Provider Settings,” Friday, December 14, 2 PM ET. Register Nowexit disclaimer

Health Information Technology (IT) and Quality Workforce Issues

Colleges Receive Additional Funding for Health IT Programs

In late September, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced $500 million in grants to community colleges and universities across the nation to develop and expand workforce programs.  Among the DOL grant recipients, three community colleges plan to use the funds for health IT-related programs. These programs include:

Bellevue Community College in Washington State, exit disclaimer which will receive about $11.8 million to provide health IT career training to veterans and their eligible spouses;

Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York, exit disclaimer which received $3 million to support a health informatics specialist certificate program; and

Palm Beach State College in Florida, exit disclaimer which received $3 million to enhance online health IT training courses.

All three community colleges received initial funding under The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act  in 2009, which established health IT workforce programs through the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).  

For more information on these new workforce grants, please see the DOL press release .

Competency Exam for Health IT Professionals

Through an arrangement with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), HRSA has secured a limited number of vouchers for the health IT professional competency exams. The competency exams enable health IT professionals, employers, and other stakeholders to assess and validate their health IT competency levels. The examinations 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 the exam fee for one time only and provides the opportunity to health IT professionals to take one of the six exams offered.  Individuals working with safety net providers and health IT professionals interested in working with safety net providers can request a voucher for taking this professional competency exam.

For more information 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 webpage.

Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Privacy and Security Staff Training Game Now Available

In September, staff from ONC and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) produced a webinar on ONC’s new Privacy and Security training game and how this resource can be used by safety net providers to better understand how to comply with federal privacy and security guidelines. The game can be used to accredit staff for HIPPA privacy training, as well as teach all staff within a provider environment the importance of privacy and security issues concerning health information technology (IT). 

Please click here to access the HRSA webinar "ONC's Privacy and Security Training Game Demo and Program Update for Safety Net Providers" or to access the ONC “Privacy and Security” Training game.

Please visit HRSA’s Health IT and Quality webinar website at for more information or email

Affordable Care Act Funds to Enhance Quality of Care at Health Centers

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced new grants that will improve the quality of care at community health centers and ensure more women are screened for cervical cancer. The grants will help 810 community health centers become patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) and increase their rates of cervical cancer screening.

“Our health centers are committed to providing high quality health care services and today’s awards help continue these efforts,” said Secretary Sebelius.

The patient-centered medical home is a care delivery model designed to improve quality of care through better coordination, treating the many needs of the patient at once, increasing access, and empowering the patient to be a partner in their own care.

These awards will provide assistance to 810 health centers as they make the practice changes, such as improved care coordination and management, that are necessary to become patient-centered medical homes. The awards will also support health centers’ efforts to increase the percentage of women screened for cervical cancer.

To learn more about the Affordable Care Act, visit

For more information about HRSA’s Community Health Center Program, visit

Health Information Technology Grantee Spotlight “Colorado’s Community Managed Care Network: Hiring Veterans to Help Health Centers with Health IT”

In recognition of the White House’s Veterans Hiring Initiative and Veterans’ Day, the Health Resources and Services Administration is pleased to highlight the Colorado Community Managed Care Network (CCMCN), a network of health centers, which successfully achieved meaningful use thanks to the leadership of an employee who is also a Veteran.  Mr. Francisco Perez joined CCMCN a year ago, bringing with him project and logistical management experience as well as a strong background in teamwork and mission-oriented customer service that have proven to be a tremendous asset to CCMCN.

Please Click Here to Read More

Quality Improvement Grantee Spotlight-“Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization: Coordinating High Quality Healthcare for Veterans and Military Families”

This month, in recognizing Veterans’ Day, the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Quality Improvement website highlights the work of the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization (FDRHPO), a non-profit health network in Northern New York State.  Fort Drum is one of the nation’s largest military installations and home to nearly 19,605 active duty military and 19,820 military family members Fort Drum and FDRHPO work together to enhance access to healthcare services for Fort Drum soldiers and families, and the surrounding veteran and civilian community.

Please Click Here to Read More

New Health Information Technology (IT) and Quality Webinar Updates from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

  • HRSA’s Health IT & Quality Webinars will be completely internet enabled.  In order to better accommodate participants, beginning in November 2012, viewers will be able to listen to the webinars through their computer speakers.  This new approach will allow viewers to keep their phone lines available for patient services.  Special dial-in numbers and passcodes will be made available to users with limited access to broadband or internet. Simply send an email to HRSA’s health IT mailbox at specifically requesting a dial-in number and code.
  • HRSA’s Webinars are now available on your Tablet/Smartphone.  At the request of our viewers, HRSA will begin using new software to enable participants to access the webinars through their Android and Apple mobile devices. For Android users, the webinars can be viewed through Adobe Flash. For Apple users, please download the free ReadyTalk app at: exit disclaimer
  • Downloaded PDF of the Presentation Slides. Now available are15 new downloadable PDFs from past webinars, on such topics as project management, due diligence, workflow analysis, quality improvement, and privacy and security. Please Click Here to Access This Material
  • New Webinar Videos Posted. Recently new webinar videos were posted on the HRSA Health IT and Quality Webinar website that focus on Project Management 101, Using Data for Quality Improvements, Leadership during a Health IT Implementation, HRSA’s Telehealth Resources, Meaningful Use Stage 2 Final Rule, and Using Health IT for Care Coordination. Please Click Here to Access This Material.

Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology ONC) Updates

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Updates

Health Resources and Services Administration’s New Clinical Quality and Performance Measures Toolkit

The HRSA Clinical Quality and Performance Measures Toolkit was developed to specifically address the needs of safety net providers seeking to initiate or upgrade their quality activities. The toolkit features proven strategies and techniques to implement or enhance a safety net provider organization's new or existing quality improvement program. The toolkit's wide range of practical, convenient, and useful tools support data collection, program implementation, and performance measurement.

The toolkit also contains clinical quality measure modules focused on critical primary care and chronic disease topics including, but not limited to: screening for cervical, colorectal, and breast cancer; diagnosis and management of diabetes; and screening and hypertension control. These quality improvement resources are adaptable and have been compiled from past and current successful quality improvement initiatives.

Please visit the HRSA Clinical Quality and Performance Measure Toolkit for more information.

National Quality Forum (NQF) Endorses Phase II Population Health Measures

The NQF Board of Directors has endorsed five healthy lifestyle behaviors and broader population health measures, focused on community interventions that can improve health and well-being.

NQF has previously endorsed population-level measures, but this is the first endorsement project primarily focused on population-level performance measures. Phase I of the Population Health project endorsed measures addressing clinical preventive services and immunizations,  while Phase II sought to endorse healthy behaviors and broader population-level measures, including those that are able to assess social, economic, and environmental determinants of health and outcomes.

Endorsed Measures

• 1999: Late HIV Diagnosis (CDC)
• 2020: Adult Current Smoking Prevalence (CDC)
• 0421: Preventive care and screening: Body Mass Index (BMI) Screening and Follow-Up (CMS)
• 0024: Weight Assessment and Counseling for Nutrition and Physical Activity for Children/Adolescents (NCQA)
• 0029: Counseling on Physical Activity in Older Adults – a. Discussing Physical Activity, b. Advising Physical Activity (NCQA) 

For more details, please see the NQF Press Release exit disclaimer

Meaningful Use Roundup

National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities Releases “Roots of Health Inequity: A Web-Based Course for the Public Health Workforce”

The Roots of Health Inequity exit disclaimer is an online learning collaborative between the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, and the National Institutes of Health. This course provides an online learning environment from which to explore root causes of inequity in the distribution of disease, illness, and death. It seeks to ground participants in the concepts and strategies that could lead to effective action. Each of the five course units provide an in-depth look at a specific topic by using interactive maps and timelines, slideshows, resource libraries, videos and interviews with practitioners.

There is no course fee, and interested individuals can begin downloading the course at any time. 

More information about the course is available at: exit disclaimer

mHealth Updates

ICD-10 Update

On August 24, 2012, HHS Secretary Sebelius announced a final rule that delays the compliance date for use of new International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition diagnosis and procedure codes, or ICD-10 until October 1, 2014. ICD-10 includes codes for new procedures and diagnoses that provide enhanced information for quality improvement and payment purposes.

A fact sheet with more information on the final rule is available at  The final rule may be viewed at

Please see the HRSA ICD-10 or CMS ICD-10 websites for more information.