On Regional Extension Centers [RECs]

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Another New Governmental Machination?

[By Staff Reporters]

A Regional (health information) Extension Center [REC] is similar to a Health Information Organization [HIO] that brings together healthcare stakeholders within a defined geographic area and governs Health Information Exchange [HIE] among them for the purpose of improving health and care in that community.

Fundamental to this definition is the meaning of Health Information Exchange and Health Information Organization. A Health Information Organization (HIO) is an organization that oversees and governs the exchange of health-related information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards.

Thus, the goal of an REC is to act as a local support organization to help doctors install electronic health records and use them to achieve improved quality, efficiency, and continuity of care.

Past and Present

The RECs are based on the example of agricultural extension offices, established over 100 years ago by Congress, which offered rural outreach and educational services across the country.

Today, the HITECH Act amends Title XXX of the Public Health Service Act by adding Section 3012, Health Information Technology Implementation Assistance. This section provides supportive services for the rest of the HITECH Act. Section 3012 (a) establishes the Health Information Technology Extension Program (Extension Program). The Extension Program provides grants for the establishment of Health Information Technology 


Link: Regional Extension Center

Link: http://www.chhs.ca.gov/initiatives/HealthInfoEx/Documents/SUMMIT%20DOCUMENTS/RECSummitSlides_FinalDraft-7-15.pdf

Link: HIT Extension Program – Regional Centers Cooperative Agreement Program


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