The Wide River Technology Extension Center in Nebraska will offer to physician practices online health information technology and electronic health records training courses from Health IT Certification, Pahrump, Nev. The courses cover the planning, adoption and management of EHRs, health information exchange and other I.T. components.

The center is one of 60 regional technology extension centers across the nation established and funded under the HITECH Act to provide technical assistance to physicians implementing health information technologies.

Health IT Certification is offering all regional extension centers a "substantial" discount for 10 online courses with an order of at least 250 licenses, says Steven Lazarus, co-founder. He's also president of the consulting firm Boundary Information Group in Denver.

The extension centers will offer the courses at the vendor's price or resell the licenses at a profit. Like health information exchanges, extension centers are looking for a business model that will be sustainable after government funds run out, Lazarus says.

All physicians, nurses and staff of ambulatory practices should take at least some of the online courses, Lazarus advises. The lead physician on an EHR project, for instance, should take all 10 courses and become certified. Other core members of the practice should take three or four courses and the examination. Clinicians heading up certain initiatives--such as changing workflow, establishing continuity of care or adopting electronic prescribing--should take the appropriate course.

More information is available at

--Joseph Goedert


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