Urban Health Plan, Inc.
Transformation of a Community Health Center & Health Care in the South Bronx
Founded in 1974, Urban Health Plan (UHP) is a network of community health centers that provides primary and specialty care to more than 40,000 individuals in the South Bronx and Corona, New York. Its mission is to continuously improve the health status of underserved communities by providing affordable, comprehensive, and high quality primary and specialty medical care. UHP has come to be recognized as one of the largest providers of ambulatory care services in NY state.
In the summer of 2009, UHP was named one of the top twenty community health centers in the country; received the Davies Award for Excellence from the Health Information Management Systems Society for its excellence in the use of electronic health records and; was awarded Level 3 recognition as a Physician Practice Connections – Patient-Centered Medical Home (PPC-PCMH) from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Level 3 recognition is the highest awarded by the NCQA.
- Sites: Four clinics, five school-based health programs, two homeless shelters, one part-time dental clinic. An additional 54,000 sq. ft. facility will open in 2012, and Adolescent Health and Wellness Center to open in the winter of 2011
- Providers: 450 FTE staff and 80 providers
- Annual number of patient encounters: 223,000
- Percentage of annual patient encounters documented in eCW: 100%
- Percentage of providers and staff using eCW 80-100% of the time: 100%
To transform the organization and the work that they were engaged in, UHP recognized the use of technology was required to accelerate the process. Its overarching clinical goals were, and continue to be, improved access to care, reduction of health disparities and improvements to the health outcomes of its patients.Additional objectives for the EHR system included:
- Improve health outcomes by expanding Clinical Decision Support Tools
- Improved care coordination
- Improve patient/family satisfaction
- Improve reporting capabilities
- Improve efficiency by increasing staff and provider productivity
- Enhance revenue and decrease expenses
UHP implemented eCW to improve access to care, reduce health disparities and enhance its Performance Improvement program. Enhanced care coordination, public health functionality and biosurveillance capabilities were other anticipated benefits.
- Access to Care:
- More efficient appointment scheduling and tracking.
- Patient’s information available to all sites immediately.
- Health Disparities and Performance Improvement:
- Identified patients with a given illness, assured evidence-based guidelines were utilized and empowered patients to take care of their own illness.
- Resulted in a reduction in asthma hospitalization rates for children ages 4 to 12 of more than 60%.
- Care Coordination:
- Ability to track number of referrals made, appointments made, the percentage of appointments kept, and how many specialist consult reports have not yet been received by UHP.
Implementing eClinicalWorks helped UHP improve the overall quality of care delivered to patients.
Some of the other benefits include:
- Enhanced patient access
- Upgraded the flow of laboratory and test data for greater availability
- Linked UHP sites electronically to remove the need to transport records and to integrate off-sites
- Improved the referral process
- Improved asthma care through up-to-date protocols
- Enabled the Performance Improvement teams to create specific reports to address more focused issues
- Eliminated time-consuming paper chart reviews so more time could be spent in providing care
- Expanded communicable diseases reporting
- Increased provider and staff efficiency and productivity evidenced by an increased number of patients, visits and higher revenues
- Connected clinical and practice management functions resulting in fewer coding/billing errors
About Urban Health Plan, Inc.
Urban Health Plan (UHP) is a network of federally qualified community health centers based in the South Bronx and Queens. Its mission is to improve the health status of underserved communities. In 2010, UHP served nearly 43,000 patients through almost 223,000 patient visits at four clinic sites, five school-based clinics, and four part-time sites. It has served the Hunts Point, Mott Haven, Morrisania and other surrounding communities of the Bronx since 1974.
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