Christie Administration Announces First Funds to Promote Electronic Health Records and Expand Health Information Technology
Trenton, NJ –
The Christie Administration today announced the first release of grant awards to an approved group of New Jersey hospitals and clinics, an important next step toward implementing a statewide program to provide an electronic health record for all New Jerseyans. In 2010, New Jersey received an award of $11.4 million in federal funding to be deployed over the next four years to fund electronic health records projects, including four regional Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) that will share information among health care providers around the state.
Health-e-cITi-NJ, whose mission includes serving underserved populations in Essex, Hudson and Passaic counties, became the first of four previously designated hospital-and-clinic groups in the state to begin receiving federal grant funding of $11,408,594. The federal funding will go to approved hospitals and clinics to put in place systems necessary to achieve the state’s goal of a statewide network for the secure exchange of health information. Health-e-cITi-NJ received their first check against their $3.2 million award, which will primarily pay for hardware and software technology.
“It’s exciting to see the funds start to flow to the Health Information Technology organizations built around the state by community and regional hospitals as well as health clinics” said Colleen Woods, New Jersey Health IT Coordinator. “Each HIE has developed their own innovative approach to meeting the goals which can eventually lead to better healthcare at lower costs.”
Funds will start to be released shortly for groups covering other regions in the state--Jersey Health Connect, Camden HIE, and EMRX-SJ.
The funds are being distributed and accounted for by the New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority. Executive Director Mark E. Hopkins noted that “the Authority is pleased to bring its financial monitoring expertise to support this important initiative."
Health-e-cITi-NJ includes eight hospitals--the largest of which are Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Newark, and St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, Patterson --and six clinic locations. The other hospitals are Christ Hospital, Jersey City; East Orange General Hospital, East Orange; Jersey City Regional Medical Center, Jersey City; Meadowlands Hospital, Secaucus; St. Michael’s Medical Center, Newark; and University Hospital, Newark. Newark Community Health Center (a Federally Qualified Health Center) also is participating with its six locations including Newark, East Orange and Orange.
The January 2011 approval of New Jersey’s operational plan for health information technology opened the door for funds to be drawn down from the Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement program administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
In July 2010, Governor Christie appointed Colleen M. Woods as New Jersey's Statewide Health Information Technology (HIT) Coordinator, where she is responsible for working across all state departments and agencies, the healthcare provider community, and other key stakeholders, to implement and facilitate the HIT movement across the State and in accordance with nationally recognized Federal standards
For further information about New Jersey’s Health IT Program, see www.nj.gov/njhit
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