Two New ONC Beacon Communities Join the Family

The Beacon Community program seeks to demonstrate how health IT-enabled improvements in health care quality, efficiency, and population health are possible, sustainable, and replicable in diverse communities across America. The program includes average three-year awards of $15 million to diverse communities with above-average electronic health record adoption rates and, in most cases, experience with information exchange. Collaborations of leaders from each of the 15 Beacon Communities that were awarded back in May have been busy operationalizing and implementing their health IT-enabled innovations that can support new ways of coordinating and streamlining health care and, ultimately, improving the health of local communities. We look forward to sharing more details about these initial activities in the near future.

Today, we are delighted to welcome two additional communities to the Beacon family. They are Greater Cincinnati HealthBridge, Inc. (Cincinnati, OH) and Southeastern Michigan Health Association (Detroit, MI).

The Greater Cincinnati HealthBridge, Inc., serving a 16-county area spanning three states, will work with its partners to build upon an advanced health information exchange to deploy new quality improvement and care coordination initiatives focusing on patients with pediatric asthma and adult diabetes. This program will use health IT tools and resources to provide streamlined and secure clinical information and decision support tools to physicians, health systems, federally qualified health centers, and critical access hospitals. The community collaboration will also provide patients and their families with timely access to data, knowledge, and tools to make more informed decisions and to manage their own health and health care.

The Southeastern Michigan Health Association and its community partners will focus its efforts on preventing and better managing diabetes using health IT tools and resources. Specifically, this effort will focus on coordinating care across health care settings by improving the availability of patient information at the point of care, redesigning patient care work processes, and applying quality improvement and other change management strategies to improve the quality and efficiency of diabetes care in the greater Detroit area.

The success of the Beacon Communities will not be judged by whether they are able to expand the adoption of health IT. Rather, they will be evaluated on the extent to which patients receive measurably better care at a lower overall cost. We are very proud to welcome these new partners representing two communities that are committed to lofty but important aims. We are confident they will demonstrate effective strategies for the nation in the coming years, and we look forward to integrating them into the forward-looking Beacon Community family.

13 Comments

  1. As a Chiropractic Physician here in Bozeman Montana, I can tell you that the paper is overwhelming. I cannot wait to go paperless and be able to quickly and easily access records such as X-Rays. Right now, if I order imaging from the hospital, they deliver the images to me via the mail on CD! I should just be able to login to the hospital’s portal and view the X-Rays right away rather than having to wait for snail mail. I have to admit that I have doubts about the government implementing this, I think I would be more comfortable with Google in charge of implementation!

    Hans Conser D.C.
    Bozeman Montana

  2. Our health information is scattered all over the place, some with your insurer, some with physicians, pharmacies, hospitals, labs and other service providers. The process for getting our hands on that data is very cumbersome, and it’s certainly not uniform. We look forward implementing beacon’s health IT-enabled innovations that can support new ways of coordinating and streamlining health care and, ultimately, improving the health of local communities.

  3. Dave says:

    I would appreciate if you could should some light on the resent CMS notification, on their website, which suggests that an ED patient in observation would count in the CPOE denominator. I thought observation patients were out.

    Here’s the link to the CMS notice: http://questions.cms.hhs.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/10126

  4. Andria says:

    I would appreciate if you could should some light on the resent CMS notification, on their website, which suggests that an ED patient in observation would count in the CPOE denominator. I thought observation patients were out.

    Here’s the link to the CMS notice: http://questions.cms.hhs.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/10126

  5. Dr. Jim says:

    In Response to Dr Hans’ comment: “I think I would be more comfortable with Google in charge of implementation!”

    While I understand that our friend was half speaking tongue in cheek, the idea of having an entrepreneurial entity implement sweeping changes to the way health professionals exchange and manage information is a very rational and strategic concept. Where as the entrepreneurial mindset is one of rapid and aggressive implementation the historical government model is one of bureaucracy and lengthy drawn out response.

  6. Nick says:

    I think that improving Health IT will do this country a lot of good. As someone else said, our information is scattered all over the place. With a good Health IT infastructure, this problem would be reduced, resulting in a more efficient system.

  7. I recall Google once toyed around with an online app that stored all personal hospital and medical information, but that was years ago – it seems like we need an ‘x-prize’ to jumpstart more implementation and more innovation to speed up the crawl out of the healthcare dark ages.
    Dr Shane
    Boulder Chiropractor

  8. As a chiropractor in Bozeman Montana I feel that patient care would take a huge cost-effective step forward with EHR. I can not count how many times has a senior citizen with a several health complaints, a dozen prescription medications and several imaging studies come into my office and yet I could not access the notes from previous physicians! The inefficiencies and waste is incalculable and the risk to patients is unacceptable. Whether the solution is public or private is an interesting question. Just try to compare the user interface experience of a Medicare website with a Google website. I doubt the government has the technology and expertise to make the EHR system truly user friendly.

  9. Gary Stone says:

    It is amazing still that more people have not learned in the benefits of using electronic medical records. My office began using it recently and each day I am amazed at how much happier I am to not deal with paper charts. Everything is in one place and I see all the info right in front of me instead of flipping through years and years of information.

  10. Game Avatar says:

    Wish Beacon will increasingly to develop and contribute to society more ahead.

  11. Jay Klepacs says:

    Even if it’s older news, it’s still good News to me. Hat’s are off to both Cincinnati HealthBridge, Inc. (Cincinnati, OH) and Southeastern Michigan Health Association (Detroit, MI).

    Regards,
    Jay Klepacs

  12. Indeed, a good Health IT infrastructure and centralization is a good solution to scattered information The more efficient and practical the system will be, the more people will benefit( both patients and doctors!)

    Everyone need better access to information, as information is power, the power to overcome conditions and diseases.

    Keep up the good work!

Leave a ReplyComment Policy


*