In 2022, more than 30 million medically underserved Americans were offered cost-effective, high-quality primary and preventive care, chronic disease management, dental, and behavioral health services by about 1,300 community health centers.
In the effort to combat the devastating impact of health-related social needs, Community health centers play a vital role in improving child wellness, managing hypertension and diabetes, and HIV prevention, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. It is a requisite that community health centers meet the same requirements as eligible physicians for the Promoting Interoperability Program and the Merit Based Incentive Payment System for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. Community health centers often meet these requirements and continue to innovate care delivery with very limited resources.
The environment of community health centers can be challenging for providing transforming digital care, but they are also breeding grounds for the thoughtful application of information and technology tools. There, they can address the unique clinical and operational challenges of the health center world, and the COVID-19 pandemic had heightened these challenges. Community health centers have led the charge to use innovative thinking to address the complex challenges associated with caring for their patient population.
The HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence Program recognizes these efforts, and the community health center category showcases the evidence-based model practices used by health centers to improve care outcomes in a sustainable manner. They address gaps in care, promote better health equity, and enhance wellness for their patient population.
Davies case studies require detailed descriptions of governance models, clinical care workflows and supporting technology tools. They showcase the use of virtual and remote technologies to improve patient wellness outside of the patient encounter and the use of data to monitor performance and identify opportunities for improvement.
Previous Davies community health recipients have made major contributions to improving care in their communities. They include:
Said Jonathan French, senior director of Informatics at HIMSS and since 2011, head of the Davies Award program:
“Community health centers often have amazing stories to tell about leveraging technology and data to provide comprehensive and compassionate care. Given the reporting requirements associated with both public payers and HRSA grant programs, community health centers have well-established structures to capture and review data to identify gaps in care and opportunities to improve care delivery. More importantly, the community health centers I have visited as part of the Davies program are filled with passionate medical professionals who strive to get every ounce of benefit out of technology to improve their patient care, he said.
“While community health centers may not always have the resources to obtain the most sophisticated technology tools, no segment of the North American healthcare market is more adept at incorporating the technologies they have into a culture of learning and innovation than community health centers. Sharing their stories is one of the most rewarding parts of my job,” said French who is also a fellow healthcare information management system society (FHIMSS) and certified professional in healthcare information and management systems.
HIMSS will be accepting 2023 Davies Award submissions from community health center candidates through February 15, 2023. Applicants must submit two case studies describing how the health centers are using data and technology to improve care outcomes, wellness, and health equity. HIMSS provides a template to guide the case study development.
There is no cost to apply. Help HIMSS celebrate your great work and share your innovative use of technology with the globe!
To learn more about the Davies Community Health Award application process, requirements, and receive the case study template, please email Jonathan French at Davies@HIMSS.org.