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Clinics - HIT

Learn how REACH for Minnesota and North Dakota can help you receive government funds tied to meaningful use of an EHR.

Regional extension centers will provide education and technical assistance to help providers select, implement, and achieve “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology, as well as the ability to exchange health information with other providers and agencies. Achieving this goal will enable primary care providers to become eligible for bonus payments for their Medicare / Medicaid patients. More>

Health Information Technology

Various federal and state mandates are requiring health care providers to have interoperable electronic health record (EHR) systems and to use e-prescribing. Stratis Health is helping providers meet these mandates—and most importantly, helping providers select and use HIT to improve the quality of care delivered and increase patient safety.

The goals for implementing HIT and EHR systems are directly linked to better patient care:

  • Improve direct clinical care processes for safety and quality of care
  • Achieve greater efficiency and improve use of resources
  • Communicate across the continuum of care
  • Accelerate diffusion of knowledge and reduce variability in access to care
  • Strengthen privacy and data protection
  • Promote public health and preparedness
  • Engage individuals in their health maintenance and wellness efforts
  • Integrated orders and e-prescribing, full electronic charting, and remote access to improve communications with providers
  • Automated services for privacy and security management
  • Enhanced coordination of care across the continuum

In 2005, Stratis Health began providing educational consultation, quality improvement resources, and other support to selected Minnesota adult primary care clinics in their successful adoption and integration of health information technology (HIT) and EHR systems. This work was conducted as part of the national Doctor's Office Quality - Information Technology (DOQ-IT) project, sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). DOQ-IT was designed to improve quality of care, patient safety, efficiency of services, and outcomes for patients with chronic illnesses through the implementation of HIT and EHR systems. Key project partners included the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Medical Association, and American College of Physicians. Stratis Health produced the DOQ-IT Toolkit to assist clinics in their efforts to adopt and implement HIT and EHR systems.

Consulting services and support

More than 100 Minnesota adult primary care clinics have used our EHR adoption and implementation services and support. This technical assistance stems from our work with the national DOQ-IT program. As part of the program, we led adult primary care clinics through a six-phase change management process, allowing them to take full advantage of all the tools in their EHR. Our DOQ-IT results include:

  • 84% of the clinics we supported reported that our assistance helped them progress toward EHR adoption. Fully 77% selected and implemented an EHR product during our engagement with them.
  • 93.5% of clinics participating in Stratis Health’s DOQ-IT program said they were satisfied with our EHR adoption support, compared to a national average satisfaction rate of 86%
  • Nationally, the DOQ-IT program experienced an attrition rate of approximately 50% of participating clinics; our attrition rate was less than 1%

Health Information Technology Toolkit for Physician Offices

The Health Information Technology Toolkit for Physician Offices can be used for implementing a comprehensive HIT or EHR system, for acquiring individual applications, or for overhauling existing systems. While an overall organizational strategy is strongly recommended and supported through use of all the tools in the toolkit, each organization should construct its own timeline based on the applications, technology, and operational activities being undertaken.

For critical access and small hospitals a carefully constructed foundation and the right tools to plan and implement HIT can mean the difference between systems that are not well-used or even add administrative burden, and those that achieve value. The purpose of this toolkit for is to supply tools, tested in this environment, that will help you plan and make the right choices, as well as to avoid having to re-invent the wheel.

Much like a carpenter's toolbox, the HIT Toolkit supplies a variety of tools for use at different points in your HIT adoption. Each tool includes:

  • Brief statement of purpose - so you will know when to use the tool and what it should help you accomplish.
  • Instructions for use of the tool - so you will be guided in effective use of the tool.
  • Tool structure - depending on the tool itself, you may find you can customize the tool to help you perform a task or use it as a model to modify for your own needs.

The Health Information Technology Toolkit for Physician Offices consists of seven stages categorized into three main sections. Descriptions of the individual tools are available on the Web pages for each section.

Section 1. Adopt: Assess - Plan - Select
Section 2. Utilize: Implement - Effective Use
Section 3. Exchange: Readiness - Interoperate

Stratis Health developed the toolkit, tested in the physician office environment, using our extensive experience in helping providers adopt HIT, working with clinics on quality improvement and patient safety, and developing toolkits.

Electronic Health Record Landscape Assessment: Minnesota’s Primary Care Clinics

Stratis Health surveyed more than 600 adult primary care practices in Minnesota to assess the level and types of EHR use in the state. The number of clinics that have implemented or were in the process of implementing an EHR system had significantly increased—from 46% in 2005 to 62% in 2007.

The overall increase in EHR implementation reflected in the 2007 survey includes a rural increase from 36% to 48% and an urban increase from 54% to 71%. The top three barriers to implementation cited by clinics in the 2007 survey were:

  1. Concerns about physician ability to input data into a computerized medical record
  2. Loss of productivity during transition to an EHR system
  3. Lack of capital resources to invest in an EHR.

Landscape Assessment (August 2007, 2-page PDF)


Stratis Health has extensive experience in working with health care facilities to help them adopt and utilize EHR systems and to prepare them for exchanging information.

For more information or support using the toolkit, contact:
Stratis Health - Health Information Technology Services