More than half a million New Yorkers reported needing medical care in the past 12 months, but not receiving it.
Many of the rising health care costs and inefficiencies of the U.S. health care system are attributable to fragmented, uncoordinated care. Electronic health records (EHRs), which can improve patient safety and help doctors better manage chronic disease, are one tool in transforming the system. In 2005, Mayor Michael Bloomberg designated tax dollars for a citywide EHR adoption campaign, establishing the Primary Care Information Project (PCIP) of the NYC Health Department to modernize primary care in New York City. PCIP aims to promote an integrated system of care oriented around preventive medicine through the effective use of EHRs. To date, PCIP has helped 2,100 doctors adopt EHRs to the benefit of nearly 2 million patients and is the largest community-based EHR program in the country.
The Fund for Public Health in New York (FPHNY) works closely with PCIP to develop projects that can utilize PCIP’s vast EHR network and staff of experts to explore creative approaches to improving health through the practice transformation and quality reporting possible through the enhanced use of EHRs. Our partnership helps quickly advance PCIP’s agenda and expand its network of doctors using prevention-oriented EHRs. FPHNY manages over $39 million in federal, state, individual and private foundation funding to support the following projects:
NYC REACH: Federal funding through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allowed PCIP to establish a regional extension center, an entity that builds upon PCIP’s foundation and is dedicated to helping doctors adopt and effectively use EHRs. To learn more about NYC REACH go to www.nycreach.org.
Health eHearts: A pilot “pay-for-performance” initiative that aims to increase prevention services offered to patients in high-need neighborhoods by providing financial incentives to doctors to promote better heart disease prevention.
Panel Management: Electronic records are being analyzed to identify gaps in care at the practice level as opposed to patient by patient. Project staff runs reports to identify important health priorities that are not being met and proactively reaches out to targeted patients to ensure that they make appointments, understand lab results and take other preventive measures as needed.
HEAL 17: Recent grant funding from the New York State Department of Health will allow PCIP to assist mental health providers in adopting EHRs, automatically establishing a channel of communication between them and PCIP’s existing network of primary care doctors, and promoting the integration of mental health services into primary care.
Text Message Alerts: PCIP is testing the effectiveness of utilizing text message alerts to patients with reminders to fill prescriptions, adhere to medication regimens, get blood drawn, and return for follow-up visits.