A UCF College of Medicine team that is helping local physicians adopt electronic health records (EHR) honored eight doctors on February 27 as Meaningful Use Vanguards (MUVers) for their efforts in improving patient care by adopting paperless systems and reaching meaningful use in the move toward an electronically-enabled healthcare system.

Dr. Deborah German, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the college of medicine, honored these MUVers at a celebration sponsored by the UCF Regional Extension Center (UCF REC). The event featured a reception, awards ceremony and panel discussion led by two healthcare providers, an Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of two large healthcare organizations in the Orlando area who have recently adopted EHRs.

Dr. German praised the MUVers for taking on a task that is a massive – and often frightening – change for a practice. “Not only have you made a transition to electronic systems in your practices, you are an inspiration to others,” she said. “I want to thank all of you for your hard work and innovative spirit in taking steps that will improve the quality of care you provide your patients.”

UCF Regional Extension Center Meaningful Use Vanguards are:

  • Brenda Barry, M.D., from WomenCare, Inc.
  • Bradley Block, M.D., from Block, Nation, Chase & Smolen Family Medicine, Inc.
  • Virgil Dawson, M.D., from Longwood Family Medicine, PA
  • John  Littell, M.D., from John T. Littell, MD, PA
  • Amish Parikh, M.D., from Premier Cardiology and Vascular Associates, PL
  • Pinkal Patel, M.D., from Oviedo Family Health Center, PA
  • Neil Patterson, M.D., from Neil A. Patterson, MD, PA
  • Matthew Rosen, M.D., from Seminole Sports & Family Medicine, PA

In 2010, the College of Medicine was awarded a $7.8 million cooperative agreement by the federal government to establish a regional health information technology center. The grant was part of the $2 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to achieve widespread adoption and meaningful use of EHRs by 2015. The UCF REC is one of 62 across the United States and four in Florida. Today, the UCF REC is helping 1,460 Central Florida healthcare providers implement EHRs, including 78 who have achieved Stage 1 meaningful use and are eligible for Medicare or Medicaid incentives.

“Our team supports healthcare providers through every phase of the continuum of their journey to achieving meaningful use,” said Josue Rodas, executive director of the UCF REC. “Whether it is at the national level or locally, healthcare stakeholders are working together to accelerate the creation of an interconnected, patient-centric care system to improve healthcare quality.”

MUVers have not only achieved Stage 1 meaningful use, they are championing EHR adoption and meaningful use throughout the Central Florida community. They use EHRs to improve the quality of patient care, exchange data with other healthcare providers, share their experience with peers and serve as leaders of the “most important transformation of our healthcare system in decades,” Mr. Rodas said.

Drs. Parikh and Patel were joined on the panel by Stephanie Garris, executive director of Grace Medical Home, and Chris Jordon, chief operating officer of Physician Associates.