AHRQ launches learning resources for providers to push health IT adoption

HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality today launched a new suite of "learning resources" designed to help healthcare providers adopt health information technologies quickly and effectively.

The step represents a new phase for the AHRQ National Resource Center on Health Information Technology, as the Agency acts rapidly to convey the lessons learned through AHRQ-funded projects and other sources. The new resources are at the center’s web site: http://www.healthit.ahrq.gov.

"The goal is simple -- help healthcare providers at the ground level learn from each other’s real-world experience and give them easy access to the best information available," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "For providers, especially those in smaller practices, adoption of health IT can be challenging on many levels. Adoption of health IT will be too slow if providers have to reinvent the wheel one by one. This shared learning tool brings the lessons of experience together in one place, so we can help providers avoid problems and achieve greater benefits when they make their move to health IT."

AHRQ also reiterated HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt’s priority to advance health information technology a major initiative in support of President Bush's charge to use electronic health records and nformation to control costs and reduce medical errors. AHRQ's new resource center is a critical component of that effort and a key part of HHS' overall Health IT Web presence at http://www.hhs/gov/healthinformationtechnology/.

AHRQ’s $166 million health IT initiative funds more than 100 projects throughout the nation. The resource center site, AHRA said, provides emerging lessons from the field; a knowledge library with links to more than 5,000 health IT information resources; an evaluation toolkit to help those implementing health IT projects; a summary of key topics; plus other resources pointing to current health IT activities, funding opportunities.