During Hurricane Harvey, Healthconnect staff worked shoulder-to-shoulder with caregivers, looking up evacuees’ medical histories in both the George R. Brown Convention Center and NRG Stadium. Medical record access was critically important during this time of crisis, where caregivers did not know the patients they were serving and no EHRs were present in the shelters.
Federally Qualified Health Centers
Since the earliest inception of the health information exchange (HIE), Healthconnect has historically worked with greater Houston’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), providing primary care services to the region’s poor and most vulnerable populations. As indigent patient populations are transient—moving across many different venues of care—Healthconnect can provide a snapshot of their medical history across the community.
Medicaid Managed Care
Healthconnect has worked closely with Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) through its care coordination programs serving low-income Texas residents. Specifically, Medicaid MCOs have embraced Healthconnect’s Notifications services as a care coordination tool for patient management. Medicaid patients typically present with complicated disease histories, gaps in coverage, and more episodic care. Healthconnect’s Notifications service ensures that these patients don’t fall through the cracks.
Harris County—and its many derivative agencies and organizations—are enthusiastic Participants of Healthconnect. Specifically, the safety net hospital system of Houston—Harris Health—has been an active Participant since 2012. Additional Participants include Harris County Sheriff’s Office (inmate healthcare processing), The Harris Center (mental health services), and the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences (the county morgue). Finally, Healthconnect provides syndromic surveillance and electronic lab reporting services to the Harris County Public Health Department.
Healthconnect is part of a multi-agency collaboration with City of Houston, Houston EMS, and the Houston Health Department. Coined the ETHAN Project, this initiative is a telehealth program that looks to manage 911 emergency calls and reduce hospital emergency department usage by re-routing non-urgent/non-critical patients to community clinics. The program has been lauded nationally as a case study in improving the cost-effectiveness of care.