This week celebrates the 10th Anniversary of National Health IT (HIT) Week. The theme for this year is “One Voice, One Vision: Transforming Health.” As health care is increasingly turning to technology to improve systems and processes to benefit patients and their health, Fenway continues to be a leader in HIT.

Fenway was an early adopter of using HIT to improve clinical care, implementing electronic health records (EHR) in 1997 and a patient portal in 2007. Today, state of the art HIT and data systems support the work of Fenway’s clinical teams and The Fenway Institute’s research programs. The expertise of The Institute’s Health Informatics team keeps Fenway at the forefront of health care delivery and research.

“Getting data systems on different platforms to communicate with each other is often an onerous task,” said Chris Grasso, Associate Director for Informatics and Data Services at The Fenway Institute. HIT is key to moving data regardless of what system you are on, bridging the gap and removing barriers in order to improve health outcomes.”

The Health Informatics systems at Fenway manage important data, including EHR, the patient portal, and other health information technologies that support the delivery of high quality care to our patients. Fenway also tests new HIT data collection methods, such as patient reported outcome (ePRO/iPad) measures that support the provision of better care for patients and provide timely, accurate feedback to our clinicians. The Health Informatics team also provides robust reports used for the monitoring of quality of care.

Fenway Health is proud to be a leader in developing data capacity among other community health centers. The Informatics team supports efforts to disseminate research findings by creating data warehouses in a secure environment. As part of the Community Health Applied Research Network, The Fenway Institute leads a network of community health centers and academic researchers in developing infrastructure and participating in research important to their own communities. Fenway also takes part in three of the largest clinical data registry projects in North America focused on improving care for people living with HIV/AIDS. Combining data from patients across the country allows for rapid and efficient evaluation of emerging trends and HIV treatment with more detail than might otherwise be possible.

The Informatics team at Fenway has accomplished an astonishing amount over the last year. The team:

  • Implemented the ‘Magic Button’ allowing staff to view records in the BIDMC system from CPS
  • Implemented ePRO at all of our clinic sites
  • Collaborated with the Trans Clinical Team to develop a Transgender Intake Form to streamline the intake process
  • Connected to the Mass HiWay
  • Implemented ESPNet that will allow automated reporting of STD cases to DPH
  • Updated the CPS Behavioral Health form suite to accommodate the changeover to ICD-10 coding and multi-disciplinary team review
  • Asked by both state and federal agencies to use our data management and reporting systems as a best practice with other sites. During our recent HRSA site review, one of the reviewers suggested taking us on a ‘road show’
  • Customized the Qvera interface so actual lab results will appear instead of ‘see text’ or ‘*’ (e.g. cervical pap smear)
  • Created an electronic process for entering Fenway’s internal DPH HIV counseling, testing and referral reports
  • Contributed to over 15 conference abstracts related to our work
  • Provided guidance on customizing EHR’s for sexual orientation and gender identity capture

“HIT has the potential to improve quality of care, provide timely and accurate clinical information, and perform sophisticated calculations not otherwise possible on paper,” explained Grasso. “It has been Fenway’s goal to provide leadership in the development and deployment of HIT innovations in clinical care.”

We’d like to acknowledge and thank the Informatics team here at Fenway Health, as they work tirelessly to keep us on the forefront of innovation while always looking for opportunities to improve and streamline processes using technology. We’re proud to be a pace setter for technological adaptation in health care settings.

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