Maine one of three states nationally recognized for use of health information technology

Maine has received a national award for its use of health information technology. One of only three states to be awarded, Maine received the Meaningful Use Acceleration Award from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), part of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, at its Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. on December 12.  The award recognized HealthInfoNet, Maine’s Health Information Exchange (HIE) and Regional Extension Center (REC), and the Bangor Beacon Community for their efforts to expand the effective use of electronic health records, health information exchange and other technology tools to improve patient care and health outcomes in the state.

On hand to accept the award were Shaun Alfreds, Chief Operating Officer for HealthInfoNet, Catherine J. Bruno, FACHE, VP and Chief Information Office at EMHS (Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems) and executive sponsor for the Bangor Beacon Community and Dawn Gallagher representing the Office of the State Coordinator for Health Information Technology in Maine.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Bruno said, “We’re thrilled to be here to accept this award. Maine’s health care community has a long history of collaboration and innovation, and the work done under these three grants has been no exception. HealthInfoNet, as the Maine Regional Extension Center (REC) is not only helping providers reach meaningful use, but connecting them with the statewide Health Information Exchange (HIE), one of the oldest and most advanced statewide efforts in the nation. Together, we are changing the way health care services are delivered, the way patient information is being shared, and the way we work together to care for our community. Consensus, transparency, empowerment, and inclusion were the key components to making this all work.”

Following Bruno’s speech, a brief video played that illustrated how HealthInfoNet and the Bangor Beacon Community have worked together to improve care for patients in Maine.

Maine’s providers were also lauded at the meeting for leading the nation in achievement of federal meaningful use rules. ONC reported that 42% of all eligible providers in Maine had met meaningful use stage one rules – the highest percentage of all 50 states.