Rural Provider Participation in a Statewide Health Information Project

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2006
Project completed:
August 2008
Nebraska has recently constructed a communication infrastructure that links all the hospitals in the state with broadband, high-speed systems (using T1 lines to the Critical Access Hospitals). That infrastructure is considered to be the backbone for a statewide health information network being designed by a coalition of organizations. That coalition aims to "provide a single connection framework for all participants—one point of connection for regional health institutions, professionals, payers, and consumer-oriented systems to request and exchange standardized electronic record data elements with all other parties." A successful system will require participation by all rural providers, including pharmacies, physician clinics, public health departments, and hospitals. The aim of this project is to delineate reasons for rural providers to participate in the coalition by assessing the associated costs and benefits.

We will develop an all-inclusive model for assessing costs and benefits of a statewide system. We will also interview decision makers in two physician clinics and two hospitals who have implemented electronic medical records.

We will publish a policy brief, submit a manuscript to a scholarly journal and submit abstracts to appropriate professional meetings and special conferences.