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Obama’s EMR Initiative

With information technology on the rise, President Obama is trying to ensure that all medical records in the United States get converted to an electronic format. Even without the help of President Obama, the use of EMR is progressing from the majority of physicians, health care organizations, and related business associates because of the ease and rise in information technology. As part of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the United States government has pushed for the use of EMR. The electronic medical records mandate is formally known as the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) and the legislation outlines incentives, penalties, and eventual mandatory implementation of EMR systems in the health care industry.

The use of electronic medical records can make physicians’ offices more efficient and improve the quality of patient care by making their medical history available to any physician treating them. There are many government grant incentives & government penalties. For example, grants totaling $598 million will establish approximately 70 Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers. Physicians that do not implement EMR systems by the 2015 deadline will get their Medicare reimbursements reduced by 1%, and each subsequent year the rate reportedly will increase by 1% or more.

The government is serious in terms of ensuring that the conversion rate to EMR technology rises. It is likely that more college-level programs aimed at creating more Health Information Management professionals will be introduced. With the increased number of EMR initiatives, there will be more job opportunities available for professionals to implements the new systems. Ryzen Solutions is aware of this mandate and how it affects organizations’ long-term strategies so we are actively working with hospitals across the United States to provide IT staffing services.

-Leslie Tran
Intern at Ryzen Solutions