Community Health Center Information Systems Assessment: Issues and Opportunities. Final Report. 1. Introduction


NORC at the University of Chicago (NORC) is pleased to present this report detailing findings from our recent site visit to Boston, MA for “Community Health Center Information Systems Assessment: Issues and Opportunities.” 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) and the Bureau of Primary Healthcare (BPHC) work in conjunction with ASPE to guide activities under this project.

The current site visit focuses on an ongoing initiative in Boston to support enhancements in information systems capacity at BPHC-funded consolidated health centers. Findings presented here describe the information systems capacity of consolidated health centers and safety net hospitals in Boston focusing on health centers affiliated with the Boston Medical Center, the area’s largest safety net provider. The report is organized as follows:

  • Site Background and Methods. We begin by describing the safety net health care landscape in Boston, focusing on health centers and health information systems (IS) initiatives affiliated with Boston Medical Center (BMC) and its health center network, Boston HealthNet (BHN). These initiatives include the work of the Community Health Automated Record Technology (CHART) project, Boston CareNet and a related HCAP program operated out of BHN.
  • Key Findings. In this section we summarize findings from in person interviews and other site visits in Boston. This section includes discussion of each BHN IS initiative and health centers’ experiences working with these initiatives.
  • Conclusions. Here we present conclusions and lessons learned from the site visit, with particular emphasis on issues related to long term sustainability and replicability of models used to promote and enhance health center use of health information systems.

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