Successful Program Continues to Help Medical Groups Improve Technology
On Sept. 28, 2007, Gov. Ernie Fletcher announced that the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) and the Kentucky e-Health Network Board will accept applications for a new round of e-Prescribing grants.
The program, e-Prescribing Partnerships in Kentucky (ePPIK), helps 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.
“This grant program is a tremendous aid to our partners in the medical community who are working with us to build a statewide electronic health care network. We’ve already made tremendous progress in this area and are moving steadily toward my goal of having a statewide network by the year 2011,” said Gov. Ernie Fletcher. “Still, cost and technical support remain a barrier for offices and agencies seeking to upgrade to an electronic system. This grant program is a tremendous help in getting past those obstacles.”
Specifically, grant awards are for groups of physicians, pharmacists and other health care providers who work together to improve technology in their offices.
The $350,000 program, part of Kentucky’s growing e-Health movement, is made possible through funding from CHFS, which will provide up to $90,000 to assist partners with the 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.
The program will award grants to partnerships of physicians and other organizations in a community that invest collectively in e-Prescribing technology. 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, local health departments, primary care clinics or employers. The grants will help fund the purchase of technology or services necessary to begin e-Prescribing, either in a standalone system or within a more robust EMR system.
The goal of Kentucky’s e-Health efforts is to lower costs and improve quality and outcomes by using technology and collaboration to move Kentucky’s health care system from paper to electronic information. Use of e-Health technologies can reduce medical errors, improve patient privacy, lower administrative costs and help make electronic medical records available to all Kentuckians. The effort positions Kentucky to meet Gov. Fletcher’s goal that all Kentuckians will have their health information electronically available by 2011.
The ePPIK grant application is available at http://gold.ky.gov/grants/stategrants/eprescribing.htm. Questions regarding the grant application should be directed to the Office of Special Programs at GOLD. For more information about the e-Health Network and its board members, visit www.ehealth.ky.gov.