Construction of countywide EHR part of larger national IT program

A project to deliver healthcare and social services more cost-effectively to a Medicaid population will seek to build a countywide electronic health record in Minneapolis, according to an article in InformationWeek Healthcare.

The Hennepin Health Project, which began Jan. 1, plans to construct an integrated patient record around the Epic EHR that the Hennepin County (Minn.) Medical Center and many local medical groups already use. Participants in the program will create patient registries, data warehouses and patient dashboards to better coordinate care and provide population health management.

Jennifer DeCubellis, the area director for the Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department and the leader of the program, is one of 73 Innovation Advisors named last week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation Center.

"This program will support individuals who can test and refine new models to drive delivery system reform. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center seeks to deepen the capacity of transforming the larger health care system and build the essential infrastructure and assistance for driving change by creating and supporting experts in these areas in communities across the country," according to CMS.

The Hennepin Health Project provides primary care and social services to about 5,000 childless, low-income adults who otherwise could not obtain health insurance. The aim is to keep these high-risk patients out of emergency rooms and hospitals.

Among the participants in the program are Hennepin County Medical Center, Northpoint Health & Wellness Center, the Human Services and Public Health Department, and the Metropolitan Health Center.

In an application submitted to the Minnesota Department of Human Services in October, DeCubellis said, "The county has a cooperative network, which includes a hospital, a health care center, a system of social workers and behavioral health experts and a managed care organization. By blending medical, behavioral health and social services in a patient-centered care model--and managing the dollars--we should reduce costs and impacts on other systems such as law enforcement, corrections, the courts and community agencies."

To learn more:
- read the InformationWeek Healthcare article
- see the Hennepin County press release
- check out the CMS fact sheet on the Innovation Advisors Program