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J Healthc Inf Manag. 2006 Winter;20(1):31-41.

Leveraging the benefits of Health Information Technology to support healthcare delivery model redesign.

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Yale University School of Medicine, USA.


Uninsured and low income underinsured patients create substantial challenges for local healthcare systems, yet their providers are not always included in community-wide implementations of health information technology. To address this deficit, prototypes of the recently proposed National Health Information Network must include providers who care for underserved populations. In 2003, a consortium of providers founded the Waterbury Health Access Program (WHAP) to implement an electronic medical record (EMR) system that would first address the needs of the region's vulnerable underserved patients. It was anticipated that lessons learned would be applicable to other patient populations as well. The WHAP consortium of competing hospitals and outpatient clinics developed a broad-based community-wide initiative to include implementing a common EMR system to share clinical information across all locations. The design includes 11 outpatient clinic locations linked to a common data-sharing tool that is accessible by each clinic, emergency department and community practitioner participating in a local, coordinated charity care program. The collaboration required to support community-wide implementations of health information technology also can be leveraged to facilitate additional quality improvement initiatives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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