National Community Health Center Partnership Forms to Improve Health IT Services
WASHINGTON and BETHESDA, Md., March 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Recognizing the need for trusted resources with relevant experience to help safety-net providers manage increasing demands for quality, cost, and outcome data, as well as navigate a complex and ever changing HIT marketplace, The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), in partnership with three Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs) – Health Choice Network of Florida, OCHIN of Oregon, and the Alliance of Chicago, is pleased to announce the launch of THQLink (connecting Technology, Health, and Quality).
THQLink aims to harness decades of investment in Community Health Center specific expertise, resources, and thought leadership under one organization to strengthen our nation’s Community Health Centers and other safety-net providers by leveraging technology to advance quality in healthcare. “We didn’t want to recreate the wheel. This is about bringing together the thought leaders in the field with their proven track records and expertise to quickly implement what works so that Community Health Centers can be well positioned for the future,” said Tom Van Coverden, President and CEO of NACHC.
The three founding HCCNs came together with NACHC as the culmination of a joint strategic planning process. These primary partners built THQLink as an infrastructure that will allow the three Networks, along with other safety-net participants, to share resources to carry out three aims:
- 1) Achieve greater value for Community Health Centers as they improve quality and cost effectiveness of care delivery by jointly deploying state of the art information technology.
- 2) Promote high quality resources specializing in the safety-net to support efficient and effective use of Health Information Technology to improve quality and achieve Patient Centered Medical Home recognition.
- 3) Develop and implement a robust data aggregation and analytics platform to measure outcomes, share best practices and improve population health.
Health Choice Network, Alliance of Chicago, and OCHIN currently serve approximately 12% of all Federally Qualified Health Centers in 27 states. As the electronic health record (EHR) market matures, achieving economies of scale and attracting and maintaining skilled workers who know health centers requires Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs), Primary Care Associations (PCAs), and Regional Extension Centers (RECs) to work closer together than ever before. In this spirit, and as part of the arrangement, all three organizations have agreed to deploy a consolidated aggregation and analytics system powered by Microsoft Amalga, an enterprise health intelligence platform.
“Health Choice Network is breaking new ground in using Amalga to combine clinical and educational data to improve care processes in South Florida,” said Nate McLemore, general manager, Microsoft Health Solutions Group. “We’re excited to build on that foundation and collaborate with THQLink and community health centers nationwide to implement the Amalga platform and applications in support of population health initiatives across the country.”
THQLink will be officially announced at the NACHC Policy & Issues Forum in Washington, D.C. on March 21, 2012.
For more information, please contact Clayton Gillett, Interim CEO at 1-855-THQ-LINK.
To address the widespread lack of access to basic health care, Community Health Centers serve over 20 million people at more than 8,000 sites located throughout all 50 states and U.S. territories. They depend in part on public financial help and need a unified voice and common source for research, information, training and advocacy. The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) was founded in 1971 to address these needs. NACHC works with state and regional primary care associations to serve health centers in a variety of ways:
- Provide research-based advocacy for health centers and their patients.
- Educate the public about the mission and value of health centers.
- Train and provide technical assistance to health center staff and boards.
- Develop alliances with private partners and key stakeholders to foster the delivery of primary care services to communities in need.
One of the nation’s largest and most successful health information networks, OCHIN is nationally recognized for its innovative use of Health IT to improve the integration and delivery of health care services across a wide variety of practices with an emphasis on safety net clinics and small practices, as well as critical access and rural hospitals. OCHIN is focused on helping practices use Health IT tools to achieve the core components of care quality improvement that are essential to realizing the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim goals:
- (1) improving patient experience,
- (2) enhancing population health, and
- (3) controlling costs.
ABOUT HEALTH CHOICE NETWORK
Health Choice Network, Inc. is a successful nationwide collaboration among health centers, mental health centers, health center controlled networks and partners. By providing key business services, strategic initiatives and the latest in health information technology, participants can improve patient outcomes through increased efficiencies and more accessible care. With 43 health centers in eleven states serving more than 838,000 patients, Health Choice Network, Inc. is recognized as a leader in the integration of health information technology among health centers and safety net providers.
ABOUT ALLIANCE OF CHICAGO
While an important characteristic of Community Health Centers is their strong individual community identification and governance, they are subject to the same forces that have driven the development of large health care systems. Recognizing the opportunities for groups of safety net organizations who could choose to cooperate rather than compete, the HRSA Bureau of Primary Health Care established the Integrated Service Networks Initiative (ISDI) in 1994. The Alliance was founded to realize this strategy. The mission of the Alliance is to share resources and integrate services in order to more efficiently and effectively deliver accessible quality health care to community health centers. The Alliance’s strategic vision is to continue promoting the thoughtful use of Health Information Technology (HIT) in the safety-net to promote access, improve quality, and efficiency.
Media Contact: Clayton Gillett of THQLink.org, 855.847.5465, email@example.com
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