The UCF College of Medicine Regional Extension Center (REC) is now fully operational. The REC is meeting with healthcare providers across Central Florida to assist them in selecting, contracting, developing and effectively using electronic health records (EHR’s) to improve patient care.

The REC’s initial goal is to provide technical assistance to 1,400 primary care providers to implement EHR’s and reach meaningful use of their systems. Currently 500 primary care providers have partnered with the REC. The REC is also working with specialty practices.

The REC has deployed project managers, billing specialists, clinical analysts and implementation specialists to work with local providers to review their office work flow, scheduling and hardware systems in order to assist in choosing an appropriate EHR system. Once the provider has selected a system, the REC provides assistance with the installation and training of the system and provides support to help the practices achieve meaningful use of EHR’s. For eligible providers, the achievement of “meaningful use” will yield incentive payments from Medicare or Medicaid.

The REC is providing its services to small practices, including federally qualified health centers – with 10 or fewer providers– in a seven-county area that includes Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and Volusia counties. Additionally, the REC is assisting the seven county health departments with the implementation of their EHR systems. Some providers who have joined are currently using an electronic health record system, but need assistance in reaching meaningful use. Others are entirely paper based with a limited use of technology. Whatever a practice’s needs or experience with EHRs, the REC can help.

In the coming weeks, the REC will be holding a variety of informational events which will be identified on the REC website. If you are interested in signing up as a REC member, you can enroll in the program via this website or by calling 407.309.4789 to learn more.