University of Missouri (MU) announced a new two-year cooperative agreement wih the state, which aims to provide help to patients throughout the state advantage from increased use of this health information technology (IT). The new agreement values $6.8 million. Electronic health records (EHR) can offer healthcare providers a complete medical history of a patient.
The Missouri Health Information Technology (HIT) Assistance Center was developed by MU with funds granted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. The HIT Assistance Center is going to provide help to a wide range of primary healthcare providers, by electronic health records selected by Missouri. Grant Savage, PhD, the project's principal investigator and chair of the medical school's Department of Health Management and Informatics, said "Our focus is helping primary care providers select, adopt and begin meaningful use of electronic health records," he added "We see this as a way to dramatically improve the quality of care for the neediest people in Missouri."
Moreover, reports are showing that Missouri patients would benefit from the electronically improved tracking and information exchange. Karen Edison, MD, the project's co-principal investigator and director of MU's Center for Health Policy, said "Missouri rates for cardiovascular disease, cancer, kidney disease, infant mortality, obesity and smoking are among the worst in the nation," she continued "Electronic health records are another important tool that can empower patients and physicians in their efforts to improve health. Studies have also found that primary care providers are at the forefront of practicing preventive medicine, which is essential for improving population health and reducing overall health costs."
Robert Churchill, MD, Hugh E. and Sarah D. Stephenson Dean of the MU School of Medicine, said "Electronic health records are an increasingly important component of the University of Missouri's efforts to improve patient care, medical education, research and the economy," continued "As the primary provider of medical education for Missouri; MU has a unique ability to lead this statewide transformation in health care."