Massachusetts recently launched Electronic Health Record (EHR) projects in three communities, taking the first step in a plan to use EHRs statewide within five years.

In March, the Massachusetts e-Health Collaborative chose Greater Brockton, Greater Newburyport and Northern Berkshire as the sites for pilot EHR deployments. The deployments will last 24 to 36 months, allowing the collaborative to study the effectiveness and practicality of implementing EHRs in community practice settings.

The communities -- which represent a diverse range of populations, geography and IT maturity -- will use EHRs in hospitals, physician practices, long-term care facilities, nursing and home health-care agencies, and community health centers.

More than 40 vendors applied to supply solutions for the pilot projects, said Louis Gutierrez, CIO for the Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services, speaking at the NASCIO Midyear Conference in May. He said the collaborative will choose six preferred vendors.

Health insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts committed $50 million to fund the pilot projects.

A more complete article on EHR is available online.

Tod Newcombe  |  Features Editor