barry-littleKentucky REC’s own Dr. Barry Little received the Critical Access and Rural Hospital Champion Award from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.  This award recognizes groundbreaking collaborative efforts with public and private sector partners to accelerate Meaningful Use among CAHs and small, rural hospitals nationwide.

These individuals have played key roles in the outstanding success rate of the CAHs and small rural hospitals in the  Meaningful Use program. As of July 3, 2013, 1,115 (65%) CAHs and small, rural hospitals had achieved Meaningful Use. Specifically, 62% (approximately 822 of 1,332) of CAHs and 77% (approximately 293 of 383) of small, rural hospitals (those generally with less than 50 staffed beds) had attested to meaningful use of EHRs. More information about this success here.

Contribution to Second Wave of ONC Health IT Resources for Critical Access and Rural Hospitals

Dr. Little also contributed to the first ever step by step EHR implementation guidance for CAHs and small, rural hospitals on All of this information can be accessed from the new landing page here.  

This new content can help CAHs and small rural hospitals learn more about the benefits of Health IT and help them take the first step toward implementation and attaining Meaningful Use.

Rural Implementation Steps

  •  Assess Your Practice Readiness

The first step in EHR implementation is to conduct an assessment of your current organization and its goals, needs, and financial and technical readiness. Learn about the benefits of EHRs and how to assess organizational and staff readiness.

  •  Plan Your Approach

Planning draws on the information gathered during the assessment phase to outline your organization’s EHR implementation plan. Learn about organizing your project’s infrastructure and key steps in the planning phase.

  •  Select or Upgrade to a Certified EHR

There are a number of steps involved in choosing the right EHR system. CAHs and other, small rural hospitals must use certified EHR technology to achieve meaningful use and qualify for incentive payments. Learn more about vendor selection and contracting.

  •  Conduct Training & Implement an EHR System

EHR implementation involves the installation of the EHR system and associated activities, such as training, mock “go-live,” and pilot testing. Learn more about the steps in the implementation process.

  •   Achieve Meaningful Use

The final phase of EHR implementation includes successfully demonstrating meaningful use of EHRs and reassessing what you have learned from training and everyday use of the system. Learn more about clinical quality measures and attesting to meaningful use.

  •  Continue Quality Improvement

Quality improvement and optimization emphasizes continuous evaluation of your CAH or rural hospital’s goals and needs post-EHR-implementation to continue improving workflows that achieve your organization’s goals while leveraging the functionality of EHRs.

 Congratulations Dr. Little and thank you for all that you do for the Critical Access and Rural Hospitals of Kentucky!