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

10/30/2005

NORC at the University of Chicago (NORC) is pleased to present this report detailing findings from our recent site visit to Virginia 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). In coordination with ASPE, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and its Bureau of Primary Healthcare (BPHC) provide technical direction for this project.

The current site visit focuses on ongoing efforts in the State of Virginia and, in particular, the Richmond metropolitan area to support enhancements in information systems capacity at BPHC-funded consolidated health centers. We began the site visit with the goal of understanding the information systems capacity at consolidated health centers in Virginia, systems related issues and challenges faced by health centers, and their experience working with two prominent federally funded consortia focused on specific information systems-based projects. Findings presented here will be combined with findings from other site visits and related project activities to help elucidate the current state of health information system use by consolidated health centers, challenges facing health centers in this area, the context of health center information systems activities and models for successful collaboration around health center information systems issues. We organize the site visit report as follows.

  • Background and Methods. This section describes key features of the site visit including background on the ambulatory care safety net in the city of Richmond and State of Virginia and details on who we met with as part of the site visit.
  • State and Local Initiatives. This section describes the activities and infrastructure of two collaborations investigated as part of this site visit: the Community Care Network of Virginia (CCNV) and the Richmond Enhancing Access to Community Health Care (REACH) consortium. Both of these efforts are funded through grants provided by BPHC.
  • Health Center Capacity and Perspectives. Because the project focuses on consolidated health centers and their experiences with use of health information systems, this section presents findings from our interviews with seven ambulatory care safety net providers in Richmond and other parts of Virginia. The majority of these providers are consolidated health centers funded primarily through Section 330 grants administered by BPHC.
  • Conclusions. This section presents conclusions and lessons learned from the site visit.

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