The nation’s 62 health information technology regional extension centers have formed an association to advance their interests and the providers they serve.

The goal of the Association of Regional Centers for Health Information Technology, or ARCH-IT, is to assist the HITECH Act-funded RECs in becoming sustainable organizations as federal support is scheduled to stop after 2013. As of April, more than 140,000 providers had enrolled in RECs with 77,000 installing an electronic health record and about 11,500 becoming meaningful users.

RECs primarily support primary care physicians and rural or critical access hospitals. ARCH-IT leaders include Jonathan Fuchs of the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, Lisa Rawlins of South Florida Regional Extension Center, and Greg Schieke of Nebraska/Wide River Technology Extension Center. The association does not yet have a Web site, says David Bergman, executive director, but expects it will be archealthit.org.

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