By Wendy Sarubbi | September 30, 2013 11:44 am

The University of Central Florida Regional Extension Center is expanding its services to help specialty providers meet the challenge of switching from paper to electronic health record (EHR) systems. Many physicians across the country are adopting EHRs to meet new healthcare reform requirements or face financial penalties come 2015.

Since 2009, the REC, which is part of the College of Medicine, has assisted more than 2,300 providers, mostly in primary care, implement electronic health record systems as part of a federal grant program and has helped them qualify for nearly $22 million in federal incentive payments.  Transitioning to an electronic health record system helps support better efficiencies, communication, data sharing and quality care.

“We know it’s not just primary care providers who can benefit from our assistance. Specialists in fields like cardiology, gastroenterology and podiatry have similar needs and concerns when it comes to adopting electronic records,” said Josue the Regional Extension Center’s executive director. “Physicians are very busy and don’t have the time or Health IT expertise. So, we’re glad to be able to advise and guide them through the process which can be quite complicated and intimidating,” he added.

UCF’s center offers customized services for each physician’s practice and fees are based on the amount of assistance needed. “It’s not just about implementing the system, it’s being able to use the system and data to help practices be more efficient, which in turn improves patient care,” Rodas added.

Specialist practices are also eligible to qualify for federal incentive payments if they see Medicare or Medicaid patients which can amount to as much as $21,250 in the first year of EHR adoption.

For more information on the REC call 407-309-4789 or visit

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