Quarterly News from your WTxHITREC

In This Issue
EHR Incentive Deadlines
100% Milestone 2 Achievement
Service Expansion
Texas White Space Initiative
Provider Spotlight
Changes to Stage 1 MU
Ask the Expert
Quick Links
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Issue: 2
Enjoy your Quarterly News from your West Texas Health IT Regional Extension Center (WTxHITREC) and please feel free to forward this email to any of your colleagues or interested parties. 
The WTxHITREC continues to support primary care providers, specialty practices and hospitals in selecting, implementing, and achieving meaningful use of certified EHR products through technical on-site assistance, guidance, and education of best practices.
Our aim is to help improve practice efficiency, patient care, maximize revenue, and increase the quality of work/life balance for health care providers and hospitals in West Texas through the adoption of EHR systems.


As always, please contact the WTxHITREC with any questions or service needs at 806-743-7960 or info@wtxhitrec.org
EHR Incentive Deadlines Approaching 
To receive your 2012 EHR incentive payment, Medicare eligible providers must attest by February 28, 2013 and Medicaid eligible providers must attest by March 16, 2013.
WTxHITREC Achieved 100% of Milestone 2!

As of Februray 1st, 2013, the WTxHITREC has achieved 100% of its Milestone 2!

Milestone 2 states that an enrolled provider has gone live with a certified EHR. Many of these enrolled providers have also achieved meaningful use or are on their way to achieving meaningful use now. This is great news for our West Texas providers and a great accomplishment!

WTxHITREC Expands Service
Call 806-743-7960 to Learn More Today

WTxHITREC is now serving specialty providers on a tier system based on EHR adoption status and the number of providers within each practice.  Each tier has been created to develop an effective project plan to provide technical assistance and support each practice as they achieve meaningful use.

 Follow the link or call WTxHITREC for further details. 

Texas White Space Initiative and Voucher Availability

Through the guidance of the Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) and your West Texas Health IT Regional Extension Center (WTxHITREC), providers are now able to deliver private, secure messages utilizing existing Health Information Exchange (HIE) across the state where Health Information Service Providers (HISPs) exist. These systems build on previous secure e-mail technologies to ensure patient health information is kept secure. 


To help foster the growth of Texas HIE infrastructure, the Office of the National Coordinator awarded Texas with $28.8 million over four years to plan and implement HIE in Texas. THSA helped design and implement the Texas HIE plan which is being coordinated between the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the THSA. To date, THSA has helped oversee the planning and governance, state-level technical services, sustainability dialogues, and Health IT Policy Development during this deployment phase of state-wide HIE services.


To be able to message between providers or providers to specialists, a secure e-mail message is sent from the provider to the HISP where it is forwarded to the specialist. As this message is being electronically sent, the HISP supports the secure transport of health information in both structured and unstructured formats on behalf of the sender and receiver. Currently the HISPs support the electronic transmission of all clinical transactions. As a critical component in ensuring the electronic transmission between providers is a reliable one, the THSA-qualified HISPs promise:
Click here to read more  

Submitted by

Mehdi Rais 

WTxHITREC Director of Clinical Informatics
Provider Spotlight 

Stephen Jackson, MD

Meaningful Use Vanguard


Stephen Jackson, MD, West Texas Health IT Regional Extension Center (WTxHITREC) member and owner of Urgent Care Institute of Abilene, otherwise known as Dr. J's Express Care of Abilene, TX, has demonstrated meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs) along with his entire staff.  Dr. Jackson's recognition is an initiative of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology designed to honor, thank and bring together clinicians and hospitals that have successfully implemented EHRs.  Dr. Jackson and his staff have earned the distinction as leaders in health information technology and have been named Meaningful Use Vanguards by the WTxHITREC.


Click here to read more 


Submitted by 

Leta Cross-Gray, RN

WTxHITREC Regional Coordinator     

Changes to Stage 1 Meaningful Use - Effective 2013


As most everyone knows, in August 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) came out with the Stage 2 Meaningful Use (MU) Objectives. Within this new release were a few changes which will take place in 2013 for Stage 1. Since eligible providers (EPs) will be focused on Stage 1 MU in 2013, we would like to review some of the changes which will take affect at this time.


Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE)

CMS added an alternative measure which is optional for 2013, but will be required in 2014 for Stage 2.

Current measure - based on number of unique patients with at least one medication in their medication list entered using CPOE

Alternate measure for 2013 only - more than 30% of medication orders created by EP or authorized provider recorded using CPOE (This will be required in 2014 and on)


Electronic Prescribing

CMS added an exclusion for providers who do not have a pharmacy that accepts electronic prescriptions within a 10 mile radius at the start of the EHR reporting period.


Click here to read more



To find out more details please click here for a CMS tip sheet regarding Stage 1 Changes.   


Submitted by

Sharon Rose, RN, MAM, BSOE

WTxHITREC Regional Coordinator

Ask the Expert

What you can do NOW to prepare for Stage 2 Meaningful Use


The goals of the Stage 2 changes are to:


Increase health information exchange between providers to:

Improve coordination of care

Reduce medical errors

Eliminate duplication of tests and screening


Increase health information exchange between providers by:  

Providing access and means to view, 

    download, and transmit their heath information

Sending preventative and follow-up 


Providing opportunities for electronic

    communication with the provider


Some of the things you can do now to prepare include:


Communicate with your EHR Vendor

When will they be ready for Stage 2?

What additional costs may be involved?

Is additional training and support needed?

What support and documentation are provided to

    demonstrate compliance with enhanced Stage 2

    security requirements?


Patient Portal is key to Stage 2

Collect patient e-mail addresses along with


Set up patient portal

Push clinical summaries and patient education 

    to the patient portal

Promote the portal to your patients


Lab - think "In and Out"

Orders in

Results to EHR and managed through the EHR

If not interfaced with labs, work toward this in



Radiology/Imaging - think "In and Out"

Orders in

Communicate with imaging providers about  

    interface availability


Transitions of Care

Core measure for Stage 2

How does your EHR recognize a transition of care 

    for reporting?


Clinical Decision Support

Increased from one to five

Review PQRS measures relevant to your practice

Activate CDS rules to align with quality measure



Submitted by

Becky Jones, MSN, RN-BC, CPHQ

WTxHITREC Regional Coordinator

Please feel free to contact our offices for further information. 


Carson Scott, MPA

Director Marketing, Outreach, Education & Communications
WTxHITREC - Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

806-743-7960 ext.356