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CHCANYS Forges New Paths with Quality Use of Health Care Data

Lisa Perry is about to go where few have gone before—into a realm where ‘big data’ has a meaningful impact on the coordinated care of cancer patients.

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As Vice President for Health IT at the Community Health Care Association of  New York State (CHCANYS), Perry was instrumental in developing a data warehouse, the Center for Primary Care Informatics (CPCI), that has been identified by the CHCANYS board as a priority for increasing quality in primary care in the state.

CHCANYS’ mission is to ensure that all New Yorkers have continuous access to high-quality community health services, including a primary care home. The Primary Care Association works with more than 60 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs; section 330 grantees and Look-Alikes) at approximately 500 sites that provide health care services to the uninsured and medically underserved.

“I’m really excited about the potential to increase the use of data to improve the care of our patients,” said Perry from her office in midtown Manhattan, soon to relocate to the Wall St. area.

The CPCI data warehouse is generating interest among researchers as well as drawing financial investment from public agencies that recognize its power to improve the health care system.

Coordinating cancer care, for example, has been a challenge for the FQHCs, which refer patients to specialists for cancer treatment and for some types of screening (e.g. mammography and colonoscopy). “It’s a lot of logistical work ,getting the referrals for testing, seeing the test results and, if the test is positive, referring the patient into treatment on a timely basis,” Perry said.

With an influx of funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CPCI will embark on a collaborative mission to create a cancer registry that will promote cancer screening and ensure follow-up care. CPCI will partner with the NYS Dept. of Health (DOH) and the Island Peer Review Organization, New York’s Quality Improvement Organization to get it done.

The group recently received $1.7 million in the first installment of the five-year grant; NYS DOH was one of only two health departments nationally to receive such an award.

I’m excited because of the partnership among these three statewide organizations. It’s a first in many ways,” Perry said in a Q&A with the Azara Community. “This is an innovation grant, and we will be doing a lot of innovating, trying to develop workflow processes and electronic data capture processes to track and improve cancer screening and treatment follow-up.”


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How might your organization build informatics into a healthcare grant application? Head over to the group forum to discuss ideas with your peers, or leave a comment below!

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