Health centers play key role in Indiana HIE's quality program

Source: Healthcare IT News

Seven community health centers and federally qualified health centers in central Indiana are now part of the Indiana Health Information Exchange's (IHIE) quality initiative, called the Quality Health First Program.  Open Door Health Services, based in Muncie, is the latest participant the program.  

Open Door joins Boone County Community Clinic, Citizens Health Center, HealthNet, Madison County Community Health Center, Raphael Health Center and Shalom Health Care Center.

Together, these centers provide care to nearly 100,000 underinsured and uninsured Hoosiers at 19 locations throughout central Indiana.  Several locations serve populations that live in rural communities.  

By participating in the Quality Health First Program, providers at these centers are able to keep track of the health needs of their patients.  They securely receive a one page, patient-specific 'snapshot' outlining that patient's needed tests and screenings.  The aim of the program is to help improve cancer screenings rates and to support the management of medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and asthma.  It also supports Indiana's youngest citizens, indicating which patients need well-child visits, and has a focus on women's health needs.  

"The Quality Health First Program signifies our commitment to the HealthNet mission, which is to make quality health services available to everyone who walks through our doors," said Dr. Don Trainor, Chief Medical Officer for HealthNet.  "It is the right thing to do for our patients and it helps our physicians to be as efficient as possible so they can spend more quality time with each patient during each appointment."

The reports are based on over three billion pieces of clinical information, along with claims information, to provide the most up-to-date, robust and relevant information available.  The program allows physicians to review and verify the data, and to reconcile missing or inaccurate data.

The Quality Health First Program is also the cornerstone of the Central Indiana Beacon Community, an effort led by IHIE.  The Central Indiana Beacon Community is part of a $2 billion investment by the federal government in 17 communities across the country to demonstrate improvements in the delivery of care through health information technology.

"A big part of the Beacon Community Program is a focus on efforts that better support medically underserved populations," said Aaron McKethan, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Beacon Program Director.  "Additionally, we know that providing early interventions and consistent follow-up care to those patients with chronic diseases is a critical step to slowing the growth of health care spending.  This program helps achieve both missions, and could be looked upon as a potential model for other communities across the nation."

Madison County Community Health Center President and CEO Anthony Malone added, "This program enables our physicians to know exactly what additional care our patients need, no matter why they originally came in.  This information is used to help proactively maintain the health of all our patients, and it is especially important in the care we provide to our most vulnerable patients."

In addition to the health centers in central Indiana, Northshore Health Center in northwest Indiana also participates in Quality Health First Program.  In all, over 1,700 providers statewide, who care for approximately 1.1 million Hoosiers, are enrolled in the program.

About the Indiana Health Information Exchange
Indiana Health Information Exchange, Inc. (IHIE) is a non-profit corporation formed in 2004 by the Regenstrief Institute, private hospitals, local and state health departments, BioCrossroads and other prominent organizations in Indiana. IHIE is the nation's largest health information exchange organization, delivering clinical information to providers securely and efficiently, along with assembling information to assist providers as they care for patients needing preventive care and management of chronic diseases.  An IHIE-led collaboration (Central Indiana Beacon Community) is one of 17 national cooperatives to help advance healthcare quality and efficiency.  This collaboration will help communities in Indiana identify opportunities to measurably improve patient care.  To learn more, visit www.ihie.org.