New Jersey EMR Medical Record Mandate

The New Jersey Health Information Exchange Project was presented on behalf of the community of New Jersey. Along with this a grant program was also submitted. The grant program and the project were aimed at facilitating greater adoption of healthcare information norms as stipulated by HIPAA. It pays particular emphasis to the understanding and adoption of ‘meaningful use’ of patient information in healthcare settings. This initiative is commonly referred to as the New Jersey EMR Mandate.

Now, the New Jersey EMR Mandate is also referred to as the New Jersey Health Information Technology Extension Center or the NJ-HITEC. This initiative is also aimed at providing healthcare professionals the much needed advice when choosing information technology systems for upgrading their operations to the electronic format, i.e. storage of patient health records in the electronic format (EMR).

The NJ-HITEC mandate is aimed at the electronic upgrade of nearly 6,000 healthcare providers to the EMR platform within the first, two years. To achieve this goal, the NJ-HITEC is planning to work in collaboration community colleges to ensure greater outreach to the physicians.

NJ-HITEC is more focused upon doctors who are serving the urban and rural populations deemed more prone to developing healthcare problems. The mandate seeks to reach out to the primary-care physicians serving these groups to ensure that at least 85% of all paper-using physicians adopt EMR technologies.

New Jersey has a history of taking the lead in enterprising the adoption of healthcare technologies like EMR. The State HIE Cooperative Agreement Program is another assistance offered in New Jersey through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009).

This program represents nearly 15 years of work dedicated at facilitating health information technologies. The state of New Jersey enacted Health Information Electronic Data Interchange Act or the HINT Act in 1999 that was officially the first program in the US aimed at creating a more transparent regulatory framework for making electronic submission of healthcare information standardized. A Commission on Rationalizing Health Care Resources had earlier issued its report in 2008 that created the roadmap for improving delivery of healthcare services.

New Jersey has also been at the forefront of creation of more community-based Health Information Exchanges that are aimed improving the health status of the state’s residents through better-coordinated healthcare centers. These community-based Health Information Exchanges or HIEs can be looked upon as the building blocks for creating a more coordinated health-information pattern in the state of New Jersey and eventually throughout the nation. This is essentially because community-based initiatives ensure participation from hospitals, long-term care providers and physicians besides other entities handling patient information.

Despite these noteworthy features, NJ-HITEC acknowledges that outpatient healthcare providers in the state have not been very enthusiastic about adopting information technology and thus, greater guidance in this regard is needed.