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FAQ: MO HIT Assistance Center

How can I access the services of the Missouri Health Information Technology Assistance Center?

Please fill out the letter of interest and return it. A representative will be in contact with you. If you have any questions contact us toll free at 1-877-882-9933.

What is the Missouri Health Information Technology Assistance Center?

The Missouri Health Information Technology (MO HIT) Assistance Center is a collaboration of several organizations. The Assistance Center is headquartered at the University of Missouri - Columbia, through the Department of Health Management and Informatics and the Center for Health Policy. Additional collaborators include:

  • Missouri Telehealth Network
  • Primaris
  • Missouri Primary Care Association
  • Kansas City Quality Improvement Consortium
  • Hospital Industry Data Institute
  • Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Missouri School of Medicine

What are the Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers?

Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers (HITRECs) have been established in each state to assist health care providers with implementing electronic health records and achieving the meaningful use standard required to qualify for federal incentive and reimbursement payments. The MO HIT Assistance Center is the HITREC for Missouri.

These HIT Regional Extension Centers are funded through an award from the Office of the National Coordinator, Department of Health and Human Services (Award Number 90RC0039/01).

The purpose of the Regional Extension Centers is to provide education, outreach, and technical assistance to priority primary care providers in each region to assist them in selecting, successfully implementing, and achieving meaningful use of certified electronic health records.

Who are priority primary care providers?

Priority primary care providers are physicians (Internal Medicine, Family Practice, OB/GYN, Pediatrics) and other health care professionals (PA, NP, Nurse Midwife) with prescribing privileges in the following settings:

  • Small group practices (10 or fewer providers with prescriptive privileges);
  • Ambulatory clinics connected with a public or critical access hospital;
  • Community health centers and rural health clinics; and
  • Other ambulatory settings that predominately serve uninsured, underinsured, and medically underserved populations.

How will electronic health records benefit providers and patients?

Electronic health records and statewide health information exchange will save money for both providers and patients by improving the efficiency and quality of health care. Patients and providers will spend less time filling out redundant paperwork that slows down process, adds costs and introduces greater chances of error. Common issues, such as duplicate tests, misread prescriptions, and time wasted waiting for records to be transferred from one health care provider to the next, will be reduced dramatically.

Additionally, better decision-making by health care providers at the front end, based on complete, accurate and timely patient information, can reduce the need for more - and increasingly expensive - health care in the future. Research will be enhanced by electronic health records' ability to facilitate the collection of standardized data to evaluate promising medical techniques, devices and drugs.

Preventable medical errors may also be reduced.

How will health information exchange work?

When all parts of the health care system use standardized electronic health records, it will be possible for doctors, hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, and pharmacies to have the information they need at the time and place they need it to provide the best treatment possible?

Electronic health records connected through the statewide health information exchange would allow a doctor in one part of the state to share or retrieve a patient's health information from a health care provider in another part of the state instantly and accurately, to ensure timely and informed delivery of care.

Does the MO HIT Assistance Center provide grants for providers who need to purchase an EHR system?

Although the MO HIT Assistance Center does not offer grants, members of the MO HIT Assistance Center can take advantage of a group purchasing organization benefit that offers discount rates and negotiated preferential terms for selected EHRs, related hardware and networking, IT services and document management companies (scanning). We also provide referrals to vetted banks with established bridge loan programs.

What services does the MO HIT Assistance Center provide?

An overview of the services includes, but is not limited to:

General Assistance

  • Outreach
  • Education
  • Resources for all aspects of health information technology adoption

Technical Assistance

  • Practice assessments
  • Vendor selection
  • Purchase facilitation
  • Electronic health record implementation
  • Workflow redesign
  • Interoperability
  • Privacy issues
  • Security

Will providers who have implemented an electronic health record system be eligible for assistance from the MO HIT Assistance Center?

The MO HIT Assistance Center will assist providers with or without electronic health records. Technical assistance services will be available to providers at all stages of the electronic health record adoption process. Services will be adapted to meet the specific needs of the practice regardless of where you are in the process.

EHR Success Stories

The devastating tornado that swept through Joplin, Missouri on May 22 completely destroyed a number of physician offices, including that of Tracy Godfrey, MD, a Family Practitioner with the Family Health Center of Joplin. But thanks to electronic health records, Godfrey had access to all of her patients' information, and in less than three days after the catastrophe, the practice was able to reopen its doors at a temporary location. More EHR Success Stories