Developing a Network of Community Health Centers With a Common Electronic Health Record: Description of the Safety Net West Practice-based Research Network (SNW-PBRN)
In 2001, community health center (CHC) leaders in Oregon established an organization to facilitate the integration of health information technology, including a shared electronic health record (EHR), into safety net clinics. The Oregon Community Health Information Network (shortened to OCHIN as other states joined) became a CHC information technology hub, supporting a network-wide EHR with one master patient index, now linked across >40 safety net organizations serving >900,000 patients with nearly 800,000 distinct CHC visits. Recognizing the potential of OCHIN's multiclinic network and comprehensive EHR database for conducting safety net-based research, OCHIN leaders and local researchers formed the Safety Net West practice-based research network (PBRN). The Safety Net West "community- based laboratory," based at OCHIN, is positioned to become an important resource for many studies including: evaluation of the real-time impact of health care reform on uninsured populations; development of new models of primary care delivery; dissemination and translation of interventions from other EHR-based systems (e.g., Kaiser Permanente) into the community health setting; and analyses of factors influencing disparities in health and health care access. We describe the founding of Safety Net West, its infrastructure development, current projects, and the future goals of this community-based PBRN with a common EHR.
Available from: Christine Nelson
- "ADVANCE aims to significantly enhance the heterogeneity and representativeness of populations included in research. Led by OCHIN's research team and Practice-Based Research Network,1
2 ADVANCE will include groups of patients receiving care in community health centers and federally qualified health center (FQHC) in the OCHIN network, HCN, and Fenway Health. The health systems in the ADVANCE CDRN serve disadvantaged and vulnerable populations; for example, over half of our patients earn less than the federal poverty level, 36% are Hispanic, and 15% are African American. "
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ABSTRACT: The ADVANCE (Accelerating Data Value Across a National Community Health Center Network) clinical data research network (CDRN) is led by the OCHIN Community Health Information Network in partnership with Health Choice Network and Fenway Health. The ADVANCE CDRN will 'horizontally' integrate outpatient electronic health record data for over one million federally qualified health center patients, and 'vertically' integrate hospital, health plan, and community data for these patients, often under-represented in research studies. Patient investigators, community investigators, and academic investigators with diverse expertise will work together to meet project goals related to data integration, patient engagement and recruitment, and the development of streamlined regulatory policies. By enhancing the data and research infrastructure of participating organizations, the ADVANCE CDRN will serve as a 'community laboratory' for including disadvantaged and vulnerable patients in patient-centered outcomes research that is aligned with the priorities of patients, clinics, and communities in our network.
Available from: Marjorie A Bowman
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ABSTRACT: We have quite a rich issue this month related to practice-based research networks (PBRNs)--reflections on where they have been, where they should go, how they should happen; lessons learned about recruiting physicians and patients and new research methods; and several clinical studies from existing PBRNs. We had an amazing number of manuscripts submitted this year for the PBRN issue; as a result, this is a powerful issue. Some are under revision for future issues of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, just as we have some articles from PBRNs appearing in most issues. PBRNs have deepened the family medicine research tradition. The importance of primary care research to build the evidence base of our clinical practice, plus the useful work building the methods of primary care research, distinguishes the pioneers in PBRNs. PBRNs are Health Improvement Networks and national treasures to be nurtured.
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ABSTRACT: Most primary-care physicians have adopted electronic medical records (EMRs) for the management of patients in ambulatory care. Observational trials suggest that the use of EMRs improves the achievement of the recommended standards of diabetes care and intermediate outcomes. A French group of general practitioners has shown, in a randomized controlled trial of diabetes care, the beneficial effects of a follow-up module integrated into an EMR. Electronic reminders, eHealth technology and e-mail messaging to patients integrated into the EMR have also been reported to have a beneficial effect on diabetes care. Some recommendations have been devised for the meaningful use of EMRs to improve the process and, possibly, intermediate outcomes of diabetes care as well. Another potential benefit to consider is the extraction and aggregation of data to create diabetes registers. Large regional and national diabetes registers have been set up in the US and Europe for various purposes, including patient recall, description of care patterns and outcomes, improvement of practices, drug safety, observational research and retrospective trials. In France, the government initiative towards an Internet-based personal health record (PHR) provides an appropriate framework for implementing and sharing the information needed to improve diabetes care, such as electronic summaries of health information, personalized health plans (PHPs), and standardized and structured hospital-discharge forms. All of these materials can be generated from EMRs. The widespread and optimalized use of EMRs for diabetes care with links to the national diabetes register and the capacity to supply PHRs are major considerations. Achieving these goals requires a common initiative comprising primary care and diabetes scientific societies in cooperation with diabetes patients'associations.
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