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Purdue to get $12M to help small health providers

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The federal government has agreed to give $12 million to Purdue University to use its extension service to help small health-care providers adopt and use electronic health records and e-prescribing tools.

The funds were approved a year ago by Congress as part of the stimulus bill. That bill also offered bonuses to doctors and hospitals that begin using electronic medical records next year, and penalties for any who aren’t using them by 2015.

Purdue is one of 32 not-for-profit organizations receiving $1 billion over four year to roll out electronic medical records and other computer technologies.

Purdue is launching a new extension center to handle the work, which will begin operations in April.

Mary Ann Sloan, director of Purdue's Healthcare Technical Assistance Program, said Purdue's center would help physicians and nurse practitioners at practices across Indiana with 10 or fewer doctors and those aiding under-served populations.

"We can leverage the networks established by Purdue's Healthcare Technical Assistance Program to reach practices that don't have access to the resources of the larger health-care systems and haven't yet adopted the electronic technology,” Sloan said in a written statement. “With this funding, we will help them select products and provide training on how to use the technology to its fullest potential to improve patient care."

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