The US government has granted $1.2bn for states to promote the use of electronic medical records (EMR) and interoperability.

Out of the total funding, $589m will be spent on 70 regional centres to provide technical assistance and support to assist hospitals’ physician practices with implementing EMR systems.

The remaining amount will be used to help build the Nationwide Health Information Network and encourage health information exchange.

The funding is part of the $2bn in stimulus funds allocated to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said these grants will help ensure more doctors and hospitals have the tools they need to use this critical technology.

“Electronic health records can help reduce medical errors, make healthcare more efficient and improve the quality of medical care for all Americans,” Sebelius said.