Engaging community health centers serving low SES and minority patients in New York City to become EHR meaningful users and improve health outcomes
Background: Despite the incentives, achieving meaningful use (MU) has been challenging for community health centers (CHCs) serving minority and lower social and economic status (SES) populations in New York City. To assist CHCs, NYC REACH, a federally-funded regional extension center, provides technical assistance through Clinical Quality Specialists (CQS) who facilitate MU project management, workflow redesign and provider trainings. Additionally, NYC REACH conducts quarterly collaborative learning sessions to sustain buy-in for MU from practice leadership and to facilitate sharing of best practices among CHCs. Method: A case study of a large, multi-site CHC in a medically underserved area is presented in this abstract. Leadership from this CHC attended the first collaborative session and became engaged about the MU program and its potential impact for the health of their community. Thereafter, a CQS conducted onsite visits with nine of the CHC's sites over the next four months and worked with core teams to address workflows and hard to meet measures, such as providing clinical visit summaries. At the onsite visits, site-level and individual MU dashboards were reviewed and technical trainings on EHR documentation were provided. Trends of providers' achievement of the measures were tracked before, during and after the onsite visits. Results: Data over a four month period showed dramatic increases in MU measure achievement overall with varying levels per site and by measure. Providing clinical visit summaries increased by approximately 200%. Such trends in data indicate that both the technical assistance offered by CQS as well as leadership participation in collaborative learning sessions are important aspects for engaging providers toward MU. Within these frameworks NYC REACH has found that effective methods for achievement of measures include: sharing provider and practice level data, conducting training specific to challenging measures, and providing forums for CHC leadership to get support with questions.
Administration, management, leadership
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Explain how meaningful use of EHR technology will improve the health of populations served by CHCs in NYC by allowing them to develop and track quality and health outcome measures specific to the local community.
Discuss strategies for using EHR data to improve quality of care
List strategies to engage leadership and providers at community health centers in achieving meaningful use.
Keyword(s): Health Care Quality, Underserved Populations
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working with large CHCs on Meaningful Use as a Clinical Quality Specialist for over two years. In addition I help to develop and deliver learning collaborative trainigs for leadership at larger medcial practices.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.