NIU has been selected to lead a statewide initiative that will make electronic health records as much a part of a visit to the doctor as a stethoscope.
The university’s Division of Administration and University Outreach has received a grant for slightly more than $7.5 million, spread over two years, from the Department of Health and Human Services to create a Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (REC) that will help doctors adopt the technology. The grant is funded by the economic stimulus bill passed last fall (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act). That bill included $19 billion to facilitate adoption of electronic health records nationwide.
The NIU center, which will be one of 70 such facilities nationwide, will assist primary care physicians all across Illinois, except for those in the city of Chicago who will be served by a separate REC operated by Northwestern University. The two universities will coordinate efforts to make a state-wide system that is as seamless as possible and one that will ultimately integrate with a nationwide system.