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UCLA CTSI and University of Minnesota Cross-Institutional Award Projects
Principal Investigators: Hector Rodriguez (UCLA) and William Riley (University of Minnesota)
Large-scale federal investments in health information technology (HIT) are intended to spur health care providers and organizations to share patient information to better coordinate and improve quality of care. However, the uptake of HIT has lagged in ambulatory care settings that care for high proportions of low-income patients. Our pilot study seeks to generate knowledge about facilitators and barriers to the spread of electronic health information exchange (HIE) for improving quality of care among underserved populations. We have established partnerships with two health care organizations: Citrus Valley Health Partners (CVHP), a provider network serving many underserved patients in the East San Gabriel Valley, Calf., and the Federally Qualified Health Center Urban Health Network (FUHN), a group of ten clinic organizations serving the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. We are conducting key informant interviews of physicians, front office staff, IT personnel, and executives. Through these interviews, we are learning about the barriers to electronic exchange of health information within the clinics and practices, between these sites, and at city-wide or regional levels. This multi-level framework elucidates the opportunities and challenges for ambulatory care practices serving underserved populations in adopting and sustaining HIT.