In the preliminary phases of the site visit planning, we contacted OCHIN leadership to describe the goals of the study and secure their assistance with identifying respondents and developing a data collection approach. These contacts provided key background materials on OCHIN’s efforts and assisted in identifying a wide range of relevant potential respondents. We also made extensive use of State websites and contacts provided by ASPE, HRSA and Oregon state officials to ensure the site visit would capture the full range of health center and stakeholder experience and knowledge.
Preliminary phone conversations. Prior to the site visit itself, NORC conducted approximately 20 half-hour telephone conversations with a range of health center and state government stakeholders. For many of these respondents, the initial telephone conversations served as an important opportunity to introduce the study and help focus the development site visit instruments. In other cases, initial telephone conversations were conducted with key officials or stakeholders who provided important context and background for this report independent of data gathered during the site visit itself.
Site visit activities. The site visit itself was conducted by six NORC staff on October 21st and 22nd, 2003. Each team of two staff members consisted of a senior staff lead (either a NORC Senior Vice President, Project Manager or Systems Expert) and a project Research Assistant. The site visit team consisted of two members of NORC’s Information Technology Department who have extensive experience in health IS, and four members of NORC’s former Health Studies Department1 who have broad expertise in health care and public health issues related to vulnerable populations. During the site visit, the NORC team conducted 17 total interviews involving 28 respondents. The interview localities were primarily in or around Portland, but we also talked with respondents in Salem, Tillamook County (near the Oregon shore), Oregon City, and Cornelius (several miles west of Portland). Two interviews were conducted by telephone with OCHIN partner consolidated health centers outside of Oregon: one with Pike Market Health Center in Seattle, WA and another with Santa Cruz County Health Department in Santa Cruz, CA.