Quest Donates EHR Software to Minority-Serving Offices

New Jersey-based Quest Diagnostics has recently announced its plans to donate electronic health record (EHR) products to small medical offices serving minority patients in the Houston, Texas area. Quest and its IT subsidiary MedPlus are the first official EHR vendors to participate in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) effort to support EHR adoption rates among healthcare providers in underprivileged and minority communities.

The HHS launched its initial efforts last October under the HITECH Act of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, which is currently in the process of providing over $20 billion in federal incentives to encourage the implementation and integration of electronic health systems by medical providers. The goal of the effort is to improve the quality and efficiency of medical care among minority patients.

Past data shows that EHR adoption is significantly lower in areas serving Hispanic or black uninsured patients and that chronic illness, disease, and obesity rates are higher among those minorities. The quality of healthcare can be significantly improved with the implementation of EHR solutions, and Quest is hoping to spread adoption of the electronic system through the integration of their upcoming donations.

Quest is donating 75 licenses for its cloud-based Care360 EHR software as well as 12 month subscription fees for small doctor practices in the Houston area. The value of the Quest software being donated is $229,500, with recipients paying 15% of the costs and Quest picking up the remaining 85%.

The average size practice participating in the program will be about 3 doctors; however it will range from between 1 and 5. The New Jersey-based Quest will also be providing proper training and integration services to make the transition to EHR smoother and more efficient.

By jumpstarting the adoption of EHR and EMR software in areas serving minority groups, Quest Diagnostics and the Department of Health & Human Services are hoping to improve the quality of care among these patients. The implementation of electronic health systems in small practices serving this demographic has the potential to provide significantly improved and more streamlined medical care to patients who are not insured or are on Medicaid.