Funding Opportunity for FQHCs: “Meaningful Use” Virtual Learning Collaborative

In September 2012, The Institute for Family Health will apply for HRSA Health Center Controlled Networks funding (announcement HRSA-13-237) to create a learning collaborative aimed at tackling the most challenging and yet most important and mission-supportive aspects of Meaningful Use. We are inviting all interested FQHCs to apply to participate. If funded, we will provide selected FQHCs with a stipend to support staff time to participate in the collaborative.

About “Achieving Meaningful Use in CHCs: A Virtual Learning Collaborative”

This collaborative will support multidisciplinary health center teams in addressing operational challenges, reducing health disparities and improving population health while achieving meaningful use and advancing quality improvement initiatives. Training will be provided through webinars and conference calls, allowing FQHCs to participate remotely in all aspects of the collaborative. Online group sessions will be complemented with one-on-one technical assistance, structured peer conferences, and a toolkit of materials. The Institute for Family Health will provide expert guidance in four areas:

Developing Patient Portals

Patient portals are a critical tool to promote engagement in care. The Institute’s patient portal, currently used by over 16,000 patients, provides an excellent case study for other FQHCs. Topics will include:

  • Developing portal use policies, especially for patient family members, minors, and adolescents;
  • Creating a bilingual patient portal;
  • Linking patients to vetted, publicly available, online health information;
  • Creating health center workflows to enroll patients and interact with them online;
  • Overcoming patient and provider resistance to using a patient portal.

Collecting and Using Granular Ethnicity Data

Better data collection is the first step towards addressing health disparities at the population level. With funding from HRSA, the Institute updated its patient intake process to invite patients to provide detailed “granular” ethnicity information, including country of origin and preferred language. Data is used to identify groups of patients experiencing health disparities and to target services to those groups. Learn how to improve demographic data collection at your health center.

Using Disease Registries to Improve Care

The Institute has created EHR-based registries for diabetes and congestive health failure (CHF). Registries are an excellent management tool: primary care providers use them to make sure all patients are getting the best quality care, and care management staff use them to remind patients of any needed screenings or follow-up. Learn how your health center can use disease registries to find and reach at-risk patients, achieve NCQA patient-centered medical home recognition, and promote an efficient, population-based approach to service delivery.

Increasing Patient Engagement in Care

The Institute has focused on tools for patient engagement from the implementation of their EHR in 2002. Learn about the creation of optimal after-visit summaries, exam room set-ups that promote patient engagement in the use of the EHR, and think ahead with us on the use of patient kiosks – exploring their optimal use in capturing patient-entered data in the EHR.

About the Institute for Family Health

Nearly a decade after becoming one of the first health centers in the nation to adopt an EHR (in 2002), the Institute for Family Health is a recognized leader in the field of health information technology. The Institute has twice received HRSA health center controlled networks funding to support the projects described above; the Institute has also received a number of federal, state and private grants for its health information technology initiatives. The Institute’s innovations have been reported in major journals and won several national awards including: HIMSS Davies Award in Public Health, The New York Times Non-profit management award for the Use of Technology and Focus on Mission, and HHS’s Innovations Award, among others. Our network of nearly 30 urban and rural locations includes two school health programs, 17 full-time CHCs, eight homeless healthcare sites, three family practice inpatient services in teaching hospitals, as well as three family medicine residency teaching sites.

Apply today

FQHCs are invited to submit a notice of interest by August 8th. We will contact you by August 17th. The online notice of interest form is available here: