January 14, 2011 | last updated May 31, 2012 2:54 pm

CT hospitals early adopters of health IT

Nearly half of Connecticut's nonprofit hospitals have committed to early adoption of federal guidelines for digitizing patient health records ahead of a 2015 deadline, authorities say.

Fourteen of the state's 29 nonprofit hospitals have declared their intention to achieve "meaningful use'' of electronic health records technology this year, which would certify them for incentive payments from Medicare and Medicaid, the officials said.

All hospitals in Connecticut and the U.S. must make their patient records available electronically by 2015 or they face federal penalties.

The 29 nonprofit hospitals are members of the Connecticut Hospital Association, which is collaborating with eHealthConnecticut and the state Department of Public Health to accelerate hospitals' adoption of the new health-records standards.

Connecticut hospitals that have committed to the effort: The William W. Backus Hospital, Norwich; Bridgeport Hospital; Bristol Hospital and Health Care Group; The Hospital of Central Connecticut, New Britain; Danbury Hospital; Day Kimball Hospital, Putnam; Griffin Hospital, Derby; Hartford Hospital; The Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, Torrington; Manchester Memorial Hospital; MidState Medical Center, Meriden; Milford Hospital; Rockville General Hospital, Vernon; and Stamford Hospital.

The state's only for-profit care provider, Sharon Hospital, also is eligible to participate in the federal incentive program.

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