OCHIN awarded federal grant to help community health centers with HIT

Three-year grant will help centers achieve MU
By Diana Manos
10:50 AM

The Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Bureau of Primary Health Care Health Center Controlled Network award is being made in increments of $775,000 per year over three years to OCHIN, Inc., a non-profit national leader in quality health information technology software and services focused on community health centers.

According OCHIN, Inc. officials, the organization has been awarded the HRSA grant to meet three major goals, including:
  • Supporting EHR installations for new member health centers;
  • Helping 37 existing health center members attain meaningful use requirements and register for federal and/or state provider incentive payments and
  • Making technical improvements to OCHIN's Epic EHR to help participating centers improve clinical quality measures (diabetes, hypertension, Pap test) and achieve patient-centered medical home (PCMH) or relevant recognition.
Within 90 days of this award, OCHIN will help each of the participating health centers to complete a work plan for the three-year project, officials say. The work plan will entail completing a PCMH self-assessment and a comprehensive OCHIN network assessment. It also will include the eventual roll-out of an array of new functions, including after-visit summaries, medication management, and enabling services that will be used to support clinical and operational workflow improvements required to achieve MU, improve clinical quality measures, and achieve PCMH. Lastly, leveraging the skills of its practice transformation staff that are skilled in data analytics and healthcare quality, OCHIN will setup and host an interactive web site to virtualize some of the support.  
"OCHIN got its start in 2000 with a HRSA grant and we are honored to continue the advancement of practice transformation in ways that support providers so that they can improve patient care," said Abby Sears, OCHIN's CEO.
According to Sears, OCHIN's 70 member collaborative has over 400 individual clinics spanning 14 states. Currently, OCHIN supports over 4,500 individual medical providers. With a staff of predominately systems software and health care professionals, OCHIN provides high-quality software products and supportive services to health centers, critical access hospitals, and small private practices serving some of the most medically complex patients in their communities. 
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