National Rural Health Association

NRHA's 2017 Rural Health Policy Institute

NRHA HIT Webinars & Resources

Ironically, the barriers to health information technology (health IT) adoption in rural areas are the same features that would make health IT of special benefit to rural settings. Only after adoption barriers are overcome can health IT revolutionize the challenges of isolation, distance and limited resources that are so dominant in rural areas. Health IT is an umbrella term that encompasses a set of very different technologies, applications and skills. These include: disease registries, clinical decision support systems (CDSS), computerized provider order entry (CPOE), electronic health records (EHRs), electronic prescribing (eRx), health information exchange, personal health records, interoperability, and telehealth. Each present a set of unique challenges related to work force, privacy, capital funding, establishing best practices etc.

NRHA has continued to emerge as a key partner in health IT. This has become more evident as our meetings and conference sessions dedicated to health IT continue to become more populated by many prominent health IT stakeholders. This growing influence is also apparent in the increased number of information solicitations that we receive pertaining to rural health IT. We are confident that our positive impact on HIT innovation will continue to improve the quality and availability of health care in America's rural communities.

For more on rural health information technology, see NRHA's official policy papers: Rural Health ITTelehealth ReimbursementTelehealth Provider Credentialing, and Geographic Restrictions for Medicare Telehealth Reimbursement.


Health IT Glossary

In the wake of health IT movement, a new medical care lexicon related to information technology has emerged. The terminology can in itself be a barrier to rural health IT adoption.  Here is a list of some of the most commonly used health IT related terms. Similar resources are listed below in the Tools section.



Rural Assistance Center (RAC) Health Information Technology in Rural Health Care - A collection of HIT information and resources developed by the Rural Assistance Center for rural health care providers and healthcare organizations regarding the implementation and use of HIT, federal HIT regulations, workforce issues, and funding opportunities.

Telehealth Resource Centers - The Telehealth Resource Centers (TRCs) have a mission to serve as a focal point for advancing the effective use of telehealth and support access to telehealth services in rural and underserved communities. The TRCs are funded by the federal Office for the Advancement of Telehealth. All in different stages of development, the resource centers sponsor a webinar series addressing a demonstrating a specific telehealth technology/ telehealth topic every month. Resource Centers around the country are: California Telehealth Resource CenterGreat Plains Telehealth Resource & Assistance CenterHeartland Telehealth ResourceMid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource CenterNortheast Telehealth Resource CenterNorthwest Regional Telehealth Resource CenterPacific Basin Telehealth Resource CenterSouth Central Telehealth Resource CenterSoutheast Telehealth Resource CenterSouthwest Telehealth Resource CenterTelehealth Technology Assessment Center, and Upper Midwest Telehealth Resource Center

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid/Electronic Health Record (EHR) - The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs will provide incentive payments to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. - Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT - The basics of electronic health record (EHR) implementation. Also, see the ONC blog "Health IT Buzz", Local Implementation Support, and Regional Extension Center (RECs).

Health Resources and Administration (HRSA) Health

National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)

American Medical Association (AMA) Health IT Basics

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Center for Health IT

American Hospital Association (AHA)

Doctors Helping Doctors Transform Health Care

Bipartisan Policy Center Health Innovation Initiative

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