Washington and Idaho Regional Extension Center (WIREC) aids physicians in both states with 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, the purpose of WIREC is to provide physicians in Washington and Idaho education and technical assistance necessary to improve their quality of care through exceeding meaningful use of electronic health record (EHR) systems.
The purchase of certified EHR software is the first step toward achieving meaningful use health information technology. The sheer number of vendors and the complexity of choices available make choosing a suitable EHR software a daunting and time consuming task. The Washington and Idaho Regional Extension Center can play a crucial role in guiding physicians through the selection process and the implementation process of the EHR software the physicians have purchased. The WIREC is also dedicated to the broader long-term goal of supporting Health Information Exchanges development.
Some Regional Extension Centers offer a prequalified or selected list of EHR vendors (also known as preferred EHR vendors). These EHR vendors include a select group of EMR (electronic medical record) companies have demonstrated a commitment to Washington and Idaho’s health information technology mission through a significant qualification and selection process. The chosen electronic health records vendors offer greater functionality and interoperability that enables practices to achieve meaningful use of EMR and best participate in the Health Information Exchange. Additionally, these EHR vendors offer discounted prices and standardized terms and conditions, facilitating quick and smooth adoption of EHR software for these Regional Extension Center participants. Regional Extension Center members may also receive group purchasing discounts from these EHR vendors.