Health Data Interoperability – A Health Center Journey from Traditional to Smart Operations

2022 NACo Achievement Award Winner

San Bernardino County, Calif., CA

Image of AchievementAwards_extension_bkg_0.jpg

About the Program

Category: Information Technology (Best in Category)

Year: 2022

The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health (SBCDPH), Clinic Operations Section provides low-cost, confidential health services through its four Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) and three Public Health Clinics. Our mission is to protect, prevent disease, and promote health and well-being. The FQHCs are a managed care approved provider site for the Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) that include Primary Care, Pediatrics, Reproductive Health, Maternal Health, HIV and TB specialty care, Immunizations and Dental services. Since the implementation of the Electronic Health Record (EHR) system (known as Athena Practice) in December 2017, one of the most integral elements of clinical practice that was not yet established was a bi-directional lab interface that would connect with our managed care organization’s contractual lab-LabCorp. At a high level process, laboratory encounters must go through an ordering and reporting process. For several years following the EHR implementation, this process was a paper based workflow which proved cumbersome and lacked the ability to meet the use of a certified EHR system in a meaningful manner. The SBCDPH Health Information Technology (HIT) program aligned efforts with the FQHCs to implement a bi-directional interface to create efficient workflows and accuracy in data collection and reporting.