Dr. Jen Brull — a family medicine physician in the tiny western Kansas town of Plainville — is among the first class of 28 fellows to be named this month by the national agency that coordinates health information technology efforts.
The Health IT Fellows, organized by the Office of the National Coordinator, are meeting for the first time today in Washington, D.C.
The group will work to assist other physicians as they make the transition from paper to electronic health records.
Brull said the strengths she expects to offer the group are in quality improvement, particularly as it applies to smaller practices.
"The nice thing about being small is that I don't have to check with a lot of people before making a change, and it doesn't take long to see if any change made is actually improving the situation as hoped," Brull said.
"The challenge, of course, is that we have limited resources. We do not have a dedicated, full-time IT person, for example. We don't have a research department or extra staff who have time earmarked for quality improvement work. So I think I can talk about how to make quality improvement a part of the culture of your organization, no matter what size you are," she said.
ONC spokesman Peter Ashkenaz said the first fellows would include 18 providers and 10 administrative staff from a variety of settings including small practices, critical access hospitals and community health centers.
According to the ONC website, the Health IT Fellows:
will be empowered to be an active voice in their community and on a national level, articulating specific ways leveraging meaningful use leads to better care, better health, and lower cost.
Two years ago, Brull became the first doctor featured by ONC as a Meaningful Use Vanguard, appearing in a series of print advertising and promotional videos by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Brull was the first physician in Kansas — perhaps the country — to be federally certified for using electronic health records.
Coverage of electronic health records in KansasOverview
→ Kansas breaks ground on statewide digital health network (5/28/12)
→ The pros and cons of health information exchange: An interview with Dr. Joe Davison (5/28/12)
→ KanHIT Advisory Council to craft 'secondary data use' policy (2/18/14)
→ Kansas HIE networks connected ‘live’ for first time (12/23/13)
→ Network execs confident they will meet looming deadline (12/16/13)
→ Patient health exchange networks agree to connect (11/12/13)
→ The Kansas insurance marketplace that might have been (10/21/13)
→ Security and privacy of patient data subject of regulatory hearing (9/30/13)
→ Deadline looming for state's patient record exchange (8/26/13)
→ KDHE begins day-to-day duties of HIE regulation (7/19/13)
→ Network execs squabble over issue of exchange connectivity (5/23/13)
→ KU Hospital, Shawnee Mission going live on statewide health record exchange (5/9/13)
→ Governor signs HIE bill transferring regulatory authority from KHIE to KDHE (4/18/13)
→ This is why health IT systems aren't keeping up (3/19/13)
→ Senate panel hears bill to move HIE regulatory authority to KDHE (3/13/13)
→ Bill introduced to transfer regulatory authority from KHIE to KDHE (2/12/13)
→ Legislators request 'lengthy discussion' on HIE developments (1/16/13)
→ KHIE board members get cold feet on legal changes (12/13/12)
→ KHIE defers details of transition to KDHE (10/10/12)
→ KHIE board turns over regulatory duties to state (9/12/12)
→ HIE board delays decision on turning authority, costs over to state (8/8/12)
→ Regulators of health information exchange to consider ceding authority to state (8/6/12)
→ The cost of independent regulation of health information exchange (8/6/12)
→ KHIE board presented with proposal to dissolve the organization by August (7/11/12)
→ Far fewer than projected patients opting out of health information exchange (6/14/12)
→ Public awareness campaign begins for health information network (5/23/12)
→ Networks granted temporary licenses to exchange patient data (4/11/12)
→ KHIE committee changes course on funding scheme (3/26/12)
→ Rural Kansas doc featured as national technology leader (8/17/11)
→ State Medicaid officials announce new schedule for digital health records exchange (7/25/11)
→ Kansas health care providers get first look at exchange implementation (2/4/11)
→ Full coverage of health information technology in Kansas
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