The Oregon site visit involved telephone, email and in person exchanges with 30 respondents representing 18 institutions involved in the primary health care safety net in the State of Oregon. Findings from these activities help identify issues and opportunities facing health centers in Oregon, particularly with respect to the activities of the Oregon Community Health Information Network (OCHIN), an independent non-profit consortium of safety net health centers and stakeholders founded in the year 2000 and supported to date through short term grants awarded by the Bureau of Primary Healthcare (BPHC) and other federal sources. OCHIN’s mission is to improve health centers’ use of IS for clinical and administrative purposes and to facilitate dissemination of high quality health care and public health data on a community, State and Regional level. Overall, the site visit explored two main themes: (1) the state of IS use among consolidated health centers in the State of Oregon, and (2) the sustainability, replicability and effectiveness of OCHIN as a model for maximizing benefits of IS for health centers and other stakeholders in a particular State or region.
This report is organized into three main sections:
- Introduction and background. In addition to introducing the purpose of the project and current site visit, we begin with an overview of safety net programs in Oregon including the OCHIN initiative.
- Site visit findings. The main section of the report summarizes key findings from the site visit, including a discussion of the development and organization of OCHIN; an overview of the current IS infrastructure, practices, and needs of the Oregon consolidated health centers; and an assessment of safety net stakeholders’ satisfaction with OCHIN.
- Conclusions. We end the report with a set of analytic conclusions that explore issues related to the sustainability and replicability of the OCHIN model, challenges facing consolidated health centers and other safety net stakeholders in Oregon, and issues for future study in subsequent site visits.