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About eHealth

The mission of the Tennessee Office of eHealth Initiatives is to facilitate improvements in Tennessee's health care quality, safety, transparency, efficiency, and cost effectiveness through statewide adoption and use of electronic health records (EHRs) and health information exchange (HIE). Access to the correct health care information, following appropriate, secure and timely standards, by providers and patients will allow these goals to be reached.

Health Information Technology has been a major focus of the health care industry in the last few years and will continue to be a focus as the health care industry strives to automate medical records, improve electronic reporting, simplify daily workflows and increase cost savings by streamlining work effort.

This Web site is an informational resource for Tennessee hospitals, health care providers, and Tennessee citizens, seeking to understand the strategies for HIE in Tennessee. The website also provides links to those resources that increase awareness of the strategies and benefits of electronic HIT, the EHR Incentive Program, and HIE initiatives.

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In 2009, an economic stimulus package known as The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was signed into law. Funding was initially allocated by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for programs to promote health information exchange (HIE), the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs), and health information technology (HIT) workforce development.

Included in the ARRA legislation is the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, also known as HITECH. Funding for HITECH is allocated from ARRA to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide funding to hospitals and physicians who adopt electronic health records (EHRs) and demonstrate standardized criteria called Meaningful Use by utilizing EHRs in a productive way for health care services.

Originally founded in 2004, the Tennessee Office of eHealth Initiatives (OeHI) oversees health information technology (HIT) standards, implementation strategies toward improved electronic capture, use and exchange of health care information, and impact assessment.

ARRA presented Tennessee with an opportunity to advance the secure exchange of health information with these stimulus funds being made available for grants, loans, and incentives to expand the adoption and Meaningful Use of EHRs and HIE.