North Carolina AHEC Program
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NC AHEC Wins Health IT Innovation Award

One May 7, 2013, the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC) Program was announced as a winner in the Health Information Technology Innovation Awards at a ceremony held at The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. NC AHEC shared the clinical applications category award with the Coastal Connect Information exchange.

awardThe awards are given by the North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance, Inc. (NCHICA).

NC AHEC helps primary care providers select, implement and use electronic health records (EHRs) to improve quality and safety of clinical care. NC AHEC has incorporated quality improvement and medical home services into the culture of practice systems, which has provided additional benefits that translate into even larger improvements in preventive and chronic care while substantially lowering costs.

NC AHEC was recently recognized by the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology as one of the two top programs in the nation that help primary care providers use EHR technology to improve outcomes.

Through EHRs, the practice can also ensure that their patients are receiving appropriate and timely care. “For example,” notes Sam Cykert, MD, NC AHEC associate director for medical education, “alerts can be set for patients with diabetes to ensure they obtain ordered lab work. The alerts will not turn off until an outstanding issue has been addressed, such as when a diabetic patient’s A1c lab result has been received.” Another benefit of EHRs is that it enables the practice staff to better coordinate care for their patients, both with the patients and with other physicians.

The winners in other categories were: Consumer Engagement: Son Information Systems for its fhasesTM EHR/care coordination system; Informatics & Analytics: M*Modal for its Catalyst for QualityTM health IT analytics software; and Research Applications: Renaissance Computing Institute for its informatics framework that mines genomic data for clinical and research use. http://www.nchica.org/Activities/HIT/winners.htm.

“We applaud the exemplary work these organizations are doing to improve health and health care,” said Holt Anderson, executive director of NCHICA. “It is through these types of innovations that we will transform the U.S. health care system with improved clinical outcomes.”

The awards ceremony was sponsored by Intel, NCTA, Georgia HIMSS, North Carolina HIMSS, Carolinas HealthCare System, CDW and Duke Center for Health Informatics.

About NCHICA:
NCHICA is a nonprofit consortium dedicated to assisting NCHICA members in accelerating the transformation of the U.S. health care system through the effective use of information technology, informatics and analytics. Members include leading organizations in health care, research and information technology. For more information, visit www.nchica.org.