Healthcare reform has incentivized physicians and other providers to adopt sophisticated health information technology (HIT) systems. However, implementing these systems into busy medical practices is not easy when focused on patient care. Seeking to overcome this challenge, HSSC secured a $5.6 million grant from the federal government in 2010 and created the Center for Information Technology Implementation Assistance in South Carolina (CITIA-SC) to assist South Carolina’s primary care physicians with the selection of electronic health record (EHR) systems, and then supporting implementation into their practices. This includes training staff on how to use the systems to improve patient care, safety, and efficiency of the practice as well as meet federal government’s Meaningful Use standards.

The mission of theCITIA-SC has been to, “improve the health and quality of life of South Carolinians through the use of electronic health information as a critical tool for achieving enhanced clinical effectiveness, improved overall performance of the health care system and better overall value for all patient consumers.”

Health Sciences South Carolina (HSSC) established and directed the CITIA-SC program as a collaborative effort among key stakeholders.  The design for the program was a small core staff supporting a larger group of staff, trained to work directly with practice leadership, physician champions, support staff and others to facilitate movement from a long-established way of doing things to health care provision utilizing new and powerful tools capable of expanding use beyond a single encounter and to include care management and population health.

This was achieved through education, outreach and workforce training activities but focused the greatest portion of its resources to providing on-site technical assistance in areas to include workflow redesign, project management, addressing privacy/security issues and quality improvement.  The longer-term goal of CITIA-SC is to provide new talent and expertise, and thereby an expanded infrastructure designed to support primary care providers across the state, as they strive to integrate and utilize new patient-oriented information technologies.


Initiative Data

How this is Funded:

Why are we doing it

  1. To strengthen South Carolina’s existing infrastructure through increased capacity and human resources
  2. To leverage organizations across the state, without creating another separate organization
  3. To assist priority primary care providers across South Carolina to improve their quality and value of health care by aiding in the selection, adoption and meaningful use of an electronic health record system (EHR).

Measuring Success

Indicator 1

Number of Practitioners Implementing EHR systems

CITIA-SC had a goal to sign up 1,000 practitioners to implement certified EHR systems. By the end of the initiative they had 1442 practitioners implement certified EHR systems.

Our Accomplishments

Our Achievements