Eight months have passed since the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) began funding Regional Extension Centers (RECs). Sixty RECs have been created, $662 million has been awarded and electronic health record (EHR) software negotiations are under way.
These steps mobilize the ONC’s mission to help 100,000 priority primary care providers become “meaningful users” of EHRs by 2011. It also advances President Obama’s goal to improve quality and efficiency of health care using technology (as outlined in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009).
However, skeptics think RECs won’t be able to deliver on their mission. Getting providers to adopt EHRs has proven to be a difficult task and throwing money at the problem might not be the solution.
Software Advice, a website that reviews EHR software, thinks there are five fundamental flaws with RECs:
1) Doctor’s aren’t moving as fast as the money is flowing
2) The market already delivers on what RECs promise
3) “Preferred vendor lists” limit choice and free markets
4) RECs won’t get doctors to “meaningful use” fast enough
5) The REC model leads to under-staffed, ephemeral entities
They’re also asking health IT insiders, medical professionals and bloggers to weigh-in on the matter. Cast your vote in their poll at: “Will Regional Extension Centers Deliver on their Mission?”