Assessment of Health IT and Data Exchange in Safety Net Providers: Final Report Appendix. Introduction


The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) is pleased to present this report detailing findings from our recent site visit to Alameda County, California for the “Assessment of Health IT and Data Exchange in Safety Net Providers.” NORC conducted this site visit under contract with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) worked in conjunction with ASPE to guide activities under this project.

This report summarizes the experience of health centers working with the Community Health Center Network (CHCN) to use and maintain a range of systems for administration and quality improvement. While in the Bay Area we also visited the San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium (SFCCC) and findings from that visit are detailed in a separate report.

The report is organized as follows:

Background and Methods. This section provides a profile of CHCN and the three member health centers we met with during our visit. These centers include Tri-City Health, LifeLong Medical Care and Axis Community Health. In additional, an overview of the methods used to organize and conduct this site visit can be found in this section.

Network Level Findings. This section provides an introduction to the portfolio of services that CHCN provides and a look into their activities surrounding their applications. These applications include an automated disease registry system called i2i Tracks, an application for managed health care operations called EZ-Cap, and a county-level eligibility screening program called One-E-App, various practice management systems (PMS), e-referral system, a case management system known as Altruista and clinical data access with the local safety net hospitals.

Health Center Level Findings. This section looks at the health IT applications being used at each health center for administrative and clinical quality improvement (QI) and the role CHCN plays in supporting each.

EHRs and the Future of CHCN. This section provides some preliminary conclusions from the site visit relating to the function of CHN, health center experiences and future directions, particularly in light of a new emphasis on EHR adoption following passage of the American Recovery and Reconstruction Act of 2009 (ARRA).

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