Rural Arkansas hospitals get funds to connect to state HIE

By Healthcare Facilities Today
November 7, 2013

Financially strapped rural and critical access hospitals that are struggling with EHR implementation costs are about to get some big relief across the state of Arkansas, according to an article on the Healthcare IT NEws website.

A new initiative, the SHARE Connectivity Program, will assist rural Arkansas hospitals with the costs of connecting their EHRs to the state's health information exchange, the article said.

Delta Regional Authority and Arkansas' Office of Health Information Technology will provide more than $195,000 for hospitals financially unable to connect to State Health Alliance for Records Exchange. Each facility could receive up to $10,000. EHR vendor costs for these hospitals typically range from $6,000 to $15,000 for implementation, according to state officials.

Critical access hospitals and small rural hospitals have already moved from paper records to EHR systems to meet meaningful use requirements. Without connecting to the state HIE, however, these hospitals may not be able to efficiently exchange patient information with larger hospital systems and healthcare providers, the article said.

"These small hospital systems are a critical part of the Arkansas healthcare network," said Ray Scott, director of the state’s Office of Health Information Technology, in a news release. "Having them connect to SHARE will give them access to more complete health information about their patients, and improve their ability to coordinate their patients' care with other providers."

Read the article.


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