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UTHealth to serve as Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center
Date:4/7/2010

HOUSTON (April 7, 2010) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today that The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) has been awarded $15.3 million to establish a Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (REC).

Healthcare practitioners will be able to reach out to the REC at UTHealth for technical assistance, guidance and information on best practices. RECs are designed to address unique community requirements and to support and accelerate health care provider efforts to become meaningful users of electronic health records.

This investment, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will help grow the emerging health information technology (HIT) industry, which is expected to support tens of thousands of jobs ranging from nurses to technicians and trainers. UTHealth is one of 28 organizations awarded a total of more than $267 million to establish RECs.

"Our school has been a leader in interdisciplinary innovation in clinical and public health informatics, and now we will lead in the ambitious national goal of implementation of an electronic health record for every citizen," said Jack Smith, M.D., Ph.D., dean of The University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences at Houston, which is part of UTHealth.

"The RECs are a touchstone for achieving this goal and are the HIT equivalent of agricultural extension services. They will train and field the army of HIT implementation agents which will sweep through primary practice settings in Texas to bring the best HIT technology to bear," said Smith, the Gulf Coast REC's principal investigator. "They will do this based on the best evaluation and testing environments for HIT products that is available. Our testing and evaluation center will draw heavily on our outstanding faculty in clinical and public health informatics."

In Texas, the Gulf Coast REC at UTHealth is joined by three other reg
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Contact: Meredith Raine
meredith.raine@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-3030
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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