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


NORC at the University of Chicago (NORC) is pleased to present this report detailing findings from our site visit to San Diego, CA for "Assessment of Health IT and Data Exchange in Safety Net Providers," a project sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation ( ASPE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ( HHS). ASPE is conducting this project in close collaboration with the Health Resources and Services Administration ( HRSA). This report synthesizes findings from our fourth of six site visits examining implementation of health IT applications among health center networks. The site visit to San Diego included a series of discussions held with staff and members of the Community Clinics Health Network (CCHN), a subsidiary of the Council of Community Clinics in San Diego, CA.

The discussions summarized below took place in person at the CCHN and individual health center sites on November 18-19th, 2008. Prior to arriving on site in San Diego our team conducted initial telephone and email discussions to coordinate logistics and provide basic information on the agenda and topics to be covered in the in-person meetings. We conducted a total of eight meetings. Site visits took place at CCC's headquarters and at five member health centers: Vista Community Clinic, Neighborhood Healthcare, Operation Samahan, San Ysidro Health Center and La Maestra Community Health Care. NORC also met with the Physicians' Council of CCHN, CCHN staff and a regional HIE group called Connecting for Care. Meetings were conducted using agendas that provided a consistent structure to each exchange while allowing sufficient flexibility to address all relevant information from participants. For each scheduled site visit discussion, the NORC team prepared materials that highlighted topics to address during the meeting.

We begin summarizing findings from the site visit by providing an overview of CCHN, including a description of its history, governance, key services and functions, involvement with health IT and overall budget. We then focus on specific aspects of health IT adoption by CCHN members including motivations, enablers and barriers as they relate to health IT. We also describe areas where participating health centers note specific costs and benefits associated with health IT adoption.

We end the report with a series of conclusions regarding our findings and initial conclusions for policy makers, program officials, health centers, health center networks and other stakeholders. Because this is one of several site visit reports that will be produced, we will present a more definitive and comprehensive set of conclusions and lessons learned as part of the final report for the project, which will synthesize and summarize findings across each of the sites.

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