Program targets groups working together to improve medical technology
On Oct. 12, Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Secretary Mark D. Birdwhistell announced that CHFS and the Kentucky e-Health Network Board are ready to start accepting applications for a new e-Prescribing grant program.
The program, e-Prescribing Partnerships in Kentucky (ePPIK), will help health care professionals maximize the benefits of e-Prescribing, which is the use of computer technology to record and transmit pharmaceutical records, prescriptions and refill authorizations.
“The ePPIK grant program will help Kentucky make progress toward a lower cost, higher quality health care system,” said Gov. Ernie Fletcher. “The main barriers to greater use of technology in health care are cost and technical support. By providing grant funds and encouraging partnerships in communities, we’re working to make the adoption of technology easier for the medical community while building healthy people and stronger communities.”
Specifically, grant awards are for groups of physicians, pharmacists and other health care providers who work together to improve technology in their offices.
The $300,000 program, part of Kentucky’s growing e-Health movement, is made possible by a $150,000 grant from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and matching funding from the Hal Rogers grant and the e-Health Network Board. CHFS will provide up to $90,000 to assist partners with purchase of e-Prescribing or electronic medical records technology.
CHFS is partnering with the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) to administer this program.
“We’re excited to begin this wonderful new program that will assist the medical community as it transitions from a paper-based system of health care to an electronic health network,” said Birdwhistell. “e-Health holds great promise to improve standards of care across the country. We’re extremely proud that Kentucky is at the forefront as we head into a new era of medicine.”
The program will award grants to partnerships of physicians that invest collectively in e-Prescribing technology in up to four Kentucky communities. These grants will match up to $90,000 in e-Prescribing and electronic medical record (EMR) investment by community partnerships that apply and are selected. Physicians are encouraged to partner with members of other practice groups, as well as with other organizations within their community, such as clinics, hospitals, health plans or employers. The grants will help fund the purchase of technology or services necessary to begin e-Prescribing, either in a stand-alone system or within a more robust EMR system.
The goal of Kentucky’s e-Health efforts is to improve health care by using technology and collaboration to provide Kentuckians with health information that is useful, timely and accurate. A secure, integrated e-Health Network could reduce medical errors, improve patient privacy, lower administrative costs and help make electronic medical records available to Kentuckians. The effort positions Kentucky to meet the goal set forth by President Bush for most Americans to have electronic medical records by 2014.
The ePPIK grant application is available at http://www.gold.ky.gov/grants/stategrants/. Questions regarding the grant application should be directed to Gene Kiser in the Office of Special Programs at GOLD. Further information about the e-Health Network and its board members may be found at www.chfs.ky.gov/ehealth.