The Chautauqua Center reports significant increases in cancer screening rates as a result of implementing HEALTHeLINK solution
BUFFALO, NY, April 5, 2023 – HEALTHeLINK, the health information exchange for Western New York, announced today it is a Phase 2 winner of the Building Bridges to Better Health: A Primary Health Care Challenge sponsored by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). The goal of this multi-phase challenge is to enhance access and care coordination to achieve better health and reduce disparities utilizing technical assistance solutions.
To advance health equity and specifically support Federally Qualified Health Centers, HEALTHeLINK built HEALTHeQUALITY, an innovative solution to help address gaps in care to improve the overall quality of care. HEALTHeLINK worked with The Chautauqua Center in Jamestown for Phase 2 of this challenge.
“Collaborating with The Chautauqua Center illustrated how HEALTHeQUALITY reduces the burden of data collection for the practice,” said Drew McNichol, director of technology and security officer, HEALTHeLINK. “Instead of chasing down diagnostic and claims data, staff was able to use the time to focus on patient engagement to help identify gaps in care and reduce barriers, if needed, for various cancer screenings.”
During the pilot phase, all eligible patients at The Chautauqua Center were queried for cancer screening gaps utilizing HEALTHeQUALITY. For all patients queried, a comment was added in their electronic health record noting if screening was completed or if patient needed to be contacted. These follow-ups were able to occur within days rather than months. As a result, The Chautauqua Center increased its breast cancer screenings by 19%, colorectal cancer screenings by 21%, and cervical cancer screenings by 23% when compared with screening rates from 2021.
“Utilizing HEALTHeQUALITY has significantly streamlined data sharing for our staff,” said Mike Pease, CEO, The Chautauqua Center. “It has allowed us to be more efficient when it comes to care coordination, focusing follow-up efforts on our patients who hadn’t had requested clinical tests conducted. We are also now starting to see the benefit of sharing this information back to the provider, so they know all care loops are closed and adding a second layer of assuredness to follow up on any test results with their patients.”
HEALTHeLINK announced last fall it had made it past Phase 1 of the challenge. From 27 Phase 1 finalists, HRSA selected HEALTHeLINK as one of 15 Phase 2 winners from across the country. Each winner was awarded $20,000 to help fund their project and move on to Phase 3 of the challenge, which recently launched. For Phase 3, HEALTHeLINK will be expanding upon HEALTHeQUALITY’s current functionality.
The Building Bridges to Better Health: A Primary Health Care Challenge continues through July 2023.
HEALTHeLINK serves as a resource for broad health system transformation through secure data-informed decision making for individual patient care and to support community investments with a purpose of improving health, health care, and collaboration with local health care providers and those who are connected via the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY) to improve health outcomes and health care delivery, control costs, increase access to care, and improve health equity in Western New York. HEALTHeLINK is also a founding member of Civitas Networks for Health, a national collaborative working to use health information exchange to improve health. Providers and patients can visit wnyhealthelink.com or @HEALTHeLINK on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn for more information.