By Wendy Sarubbi | May 27, 2011 1:36 pm

The College of Medicine’s Regional Extension Center (REC) recently assisted two local doctors’ offices “going live” with electronic health records and is in the process of helping many others. The REC is working with healthcare providers throughout Central Florida to select, contract, develop and effectively use electronic health records (EHR’s) to improve patient safety.

The REC’s initial goal is to provide technical assistance to 1,400 primary care providers to implement EHR’s and reach meaningful use of their systems. Currently 580 primary care providers have partnered with the REC, which is also working with specialty practices.

At the two practices that just went live, REC staff members were on-hand to meet with patients and explain the new system, troubleshoot any challenges and work to make sure the office had a smooth transition. In addition to doctors that are new to electronic records, the REC team is also working with doctors who want to make sure they are reaching “meaningful use” status with their systems. For eligible providers, the achievement of “meaningful use” yields incentive payments from Medicare or Medicaid. Still other practices are utilizing the REC team’s expertise in choosing the right system among the hundreds currently available.

“The technical assistance provided by our staff has proven invaluable to our participating doctors and their offices,” said Karen van Caulil, Ph.D., executive director of the College of Medicine Regional Extension Center. “I’m hearing incredibly positive feedback from the practices and I’m very proud of the work our staff is doing.”

Practices interested in signing up as a REC member can enroll in the program via the REC web site: or by calling 407.882.0727 to learn more.

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