Vermont Information Technology Leader (VITL) assists physicians in the adoption of health information technology (HIT). This Regional Extension Center was created under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act’s Health Information Technology Extension Program. Specifically, VITL educates and provides physicians with the technical assistance necessary to improve their quality of care through the implementation of electronic health record (EHR) systems.
The purchase of certified EHR software is the first step toward achieving meaningful use of EHR systems for a physician. Choosing a suitable EHR software is a daunting and time consuming task because of the vast amount of EHR vendors and the complexity of choices available. The Vermont Information Technology Leader can guide physicians through the selection process and aid in the implementation process for the EHR software the physicians have purchased. The VITL is also dedicated to the broader long-term goal of supporting the development of Health Information Exchanges.
Some Regional Extension Centers have also chosen to offer a list of prequalified or selected EHR vendors (also known as preferred EHR vendors). These EHR vendors include a select group of EMR (electronic medical record) companies that underwent a significant qualification and selection process and have demonstrated a commitment to Vermont’s HIT mission. The selected EHR vendors agreed to a higher base level of functionality and interoperability that will enable practices to achieve meaningful use of EHR and best participate in the Health Information Exchange. Additionally, the electronic health records vendors have discounted prices and standardized terms and conditions to facilitate quick and smooth adoption for these Regional Extension Center participants. Regional Extension Center members may also receive group purchasing discounts from these EHR vendors.