CHCF Awards $600.000 to Support Improved Patient Care Through the Use of Electronic Health Records

Five grants support adoption of ELINCS standard specification in California


The California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) today announced the awarding of $600,000 in grants to five health care organizations to support efforts to speed the delivery of patients’ laboratory results to health care providers in California.

The grants are part of the ELINCS project, a collaborative effort among CHCF and leading health organizations intended to improve clinicians’ access to timely and accurate patient information to help them make informed decisions.

CHCF chose grantees through a competitive request-for-proposals process among clinical care providers in California. The grantees are:

  • Brown and Toland Medical Group
  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Care Foundation
  • Humboldt Del Norte IPA
  • Redwood Community Health Coalition
  • Southern Sierra Medical Clinic

The grantees will test ELINCS in clinical environments and provide feedback about how it could be used in ambulatory care settings. The initiative is intended to demonstrate the benefits of real-time laboratory results reporting by: supporting clinical decision-making in ambulatory practices; improving the ELINCS specification for broad usability; and creating models for adoption in diverse settings.

Grantees and participating organizations are expected to fully implement the ELINCS specification and initiate real-time delivery of lab results by summer 2006.

“The adoption and use of a single national laboratory reporting standard will simplify the implementation of ambulatory electronic health record systems, decreasing the time it takes to deliver lab results to physicians,” said Glen Tullman, chief executive officer of Allscripts, one of several organizations supporting the ELINCS project.

“This collaborative effort to implement ELINCS, and give providers the timely patient information they need, represents significant progress in using clinical data standards to improve patient care in California,” said Jonah Frohlich, senior program officer with CHCF’s Health Information Technology program.

ELINCS is an HL7-compliant standard specification developed jointly by national labs, electronic health record vendors, and laboratory information system vendors. CHCF convened and funded the effort to develop ELINCS, leading to the submission of the specification to the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT), a voluntary, private-sector initiative to certify health IT products. The specification is included in CCHIT’s proposed final 2006 certification criteria for ambulatory health record products (www.cchit.org).


About the California Health Care Foundation

The California Health Care Foundation is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.