Regional EHR Training Centers

I attended the HIMSS Virtual conference this week and one of the topics that was discussed a little bit was about the regional EHR training centers that were planned for as part of ARRA. They’veONC has come out with a draft document describing this program. The document describes the goal of these centers to ” assist providers seeking to adopt and become meaningful users of health information technology.”

I’ll be interested to watch how these regional centers are put together and who ends up in charge of the various regional centers.

The thing that bothers me most about these regional centers is that from what I can tell there’s no plan for making some sort of website that would facilitate much of the learning and teaching as well as the regional centers. Certainly there are many that would like to have a face to face meeting with someone (if that’s even what’s going to happen with these regional centers), but it seems so much more effective to have a component that’s online and available to EVERYONE in the US.

Yes, I know it’s kind of a crazy idea to use technology to help spread and disseminate the learning and implementation of new technology like EHR.

Someone at the conference mentioned that each of these regional centers are suppose to share the various works they create. Certainly I think that much good could come of these centers. However, let’s not be surprised if each center decided to create their own website with their own materials. Instead, wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to have one hub of EHR information from all the various centers. It would take some up front coordination to make it happen, but I have a feeling that a well coordinated effort to make the EHR information available online could be just as valuable or more valuable than anything else done in these EHR training centers.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • Did you read the link you provided? The “draft plan” is from ONC at HHS (govt) not from HIMSS (non-profit) and the link is to the federal registrar where you can easily see this.

    If you read the legislation or even the draft plan you linked to (about 4 pages) you will see that there will be both a consortium of all of them but a National Center as well to share best practies.

    ” The regional centers will become, upon award, members of a consortium that will be coordinated and facilitated by the Health Information Technology Research Center (HITRC) that the Secretary is directed to establish by Section 3012(b) of the PHSA as added by the HITECH Act.

    Whereas research and analysis of best practices regarding health IT utilization rests primarily with the HITRC, dissemination and implementation of those best practices learned from the HITRC will rest
    with the regional centers.”

  • Sherry,
    Of course I knew the link I provided was from ONC and not HIMSS. It was just poor use of pronouns. I’ve fixed it above.

    I think you’re kind of missing the point of what I’m saying about the coordination or these regional centers. Certainly there will be some oversight and coordination by HITRC. Although, I think if you consider most government grants this oversight is all over the map. However, my point was using technology to disseminate all of the information and resources that are created at each of these regional centers.

    I have a feeling that the websites for each regional center will be more of an afterthought. Whereas I think that a website displaying this information should be well coordinated so as not to duplicate effort between the centers and should be a central part of the EHR training effort.

    Your quote “Whereas research and analysis of best practices regarding health IT utilization rests primarily with the HITRC, dissemination and implementation of those best practices learned from the HITRC will rest with the regional centers” illustrates my point really well. The regional centers will have responsibility to “disseminate and implement the best practices learned.” That describes a very uncoordinated plan which I again say will lead to a website for each regional center and duplication of effort.

    I’d prefer one super website with all the best work from each regional center.

  • Each of the regional centers will be able to function as its own crossroads of ideas and interests. Each will have the resources to articulate something by way of an independent vision of ‘the good’. The more promising ideas will have greater influence. Even better, the worse ideas will be ignored. This is not a system which can be readily hijacked. No need to fear piratical interests (in suits, this time). In the U.S., we tend to pin medals on people only when the recipients themselves have trouble remembering what it is that they did that was so great. So I am going to pin my own virtual medal on whoever thought this up now, if I ever find out who it was.

  • I personally just find it amazing (and mildly amusing) that the government is willing to spend so much money to get physicians to adopt computers. Where was the government when accountants, car manufacturers, hair stylists, auto mechanics, farmers, and virtually everyone else needed computers?!

    (Not that I’m complaining, mind you, being in the EMR business.)

  • Well, if any of those other occupations persisted in thinking of themselves as in ‘private practice’ despite their wholesale assimilation of the GDP and thereby the budgets of families, companies and the federal government, I can assure you the government would have take an interest.

  • Hi I am interested in getting certified to be an EMR/EHR consultant do you have any information where I can get this training to be certified. I can be contacted at 267-549-3810. Thank you!

Click here to post a comment