Community Health Centers lag behind the private sector in adopting electronic medical records (EMRS), writes Doug Smith, a health center leader in North Carolina. Doug is also the chief executive officer and chief information officer of Community Partners HealthNet, Inc. and is president and chief executive officer of Greene County Health Care. He’s passionate about the issue of affordable health care in rural North Carolina, but also about getting more health centers on board the Health Information Technology (HIT) train. In an article published in Health Leaders Media Smith writes that cost is a major factor in getting started. Health centers operate on tight budgets, and bringing in IT professionals can be expensive. Where to start? Smith writes about his own experiences crossing the digital divide, writing, that health centers need to rally a “network organization for group purchasing of an EMR as well as for the IT expertise and resources to manage and support the software. An EMR is just not otherwise affordable or practical for most health centers alone.”
Doug is shown here receiving the 2006 Grassroots Hall of Fame award from Marc Wetherhorn, Advocacy Director of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). The award is presented to individuals who have made invaluable contributions to insuring the creation, survival and strength of the health centers program.