Two New Beacon Communities were added to the list of existing 15 Beacon Communities established by the HITECH Act. The two new additions are Greater Cincinnati HealthBridge, Inc. and Southeastern Michigan Health Association. According to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services:
“Under the Beacon program, communities first identify leading health problems that are unique to their community, develop innovative, health IT-related strategies, and work together through community collaborations to implement their strategies and track their performance.”
For RDs and DTRs, this translates to opportunities to work for or with Beacon Communities; as dozens of new jobs will be added for each community—and nearby practitioners can potentially collaborate with the Beacon location to share best practices in health information technology. Of the previous 15 announced, ADA has already heard from several which have participating dietitians.
Take a look at the Beacon closest to you—they usually involve a collaboration of nearby facilities. If you see that a Beacon Community is also listed as a health information exchange or a regional extension center (other components of HITECH)—this is often the case. Those who have excelled in best practices of health information technology use and health data exchange are leading the charge for the rest of us! Let us hear your thoughts or about your work in these areas!