Oklahoma REC a health IT 'fixture' for rural providers

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Providers have made great strides in adopting electronic health records, but the process is not without its challenges, says Jonathan Kolarik, Director of Health IT for the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality's Regional Extension Center (REC) Network.

"It's highly rural, and they need onsite support." Kolarik told FierceEMR in an exclusive interview. "We have 77 counties, and 1.8 doctors per practice."

Kolarik talked about how his REC is helping providers adopt EHRs, the roadblocks affecting his state and what will occur once federal funding for the RECs ends.

FierceEMR: Talk about the successes of your REC.

Kolarik: We have 1,000 providers in 486 locations and 98 percent--980 of them--are on certified EHRs. Five-hundred of them are already achieving Meaningful Use and several are on their second year. We've also had the first two doctors in the nation attest to Medicaid.  

It's a never ending process. We're still working to add providers.

We have a unique model. There are only six practice advisors, geographically placed. I don't see my team more than once or twice a month.