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Community Health Center Information Systems Assessment: Issues and Opportunities

Publication Date
Oct 29, 2005

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), in close collaboration with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), contracted with NORC to conduct an assessment of information technology use in ambulatory care health centers whose funding is administered by HRSA's Bureau of Primary Healthcare (BPHC). As the culmination of that effort, this final report describes how some of the nation's Federally-funded health centers use information technology (IT), including applications which assist in directly improving the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care (health IT). Health centers, which provide a crucial source of medical care for under- and uninsured populations, also represent an early laboratory for health IT implementation, use and impact among ambulatory health care providers. This project assesses the experiences of certain health centers and health center networks implementing IT programs, and describes the challenges faced by both health centers and health center networks in adopting IT, achieving gains from the use of IT and sustaining those gains over time. [178 PDF pages]