Speeding Adoption of Electronic Health Records in Community Clinics

This is archived content, for historical reference only.

The California Networks for Electronic Health Record Adoption (CNEA) initiative, launched in May 2006, was designed to speed adoption and lower the overall cost of electronic health records (EHRs) in California community clinics and health centers.

Electronic health record technology has significant potential to enhance care for the safety-net populations served, but there are financial and other barriers to successful adoption. To overcome these obstacles and achieve economies of scale, the CNEA promotes networks with centralized support hubs that provide technology, training, vendor management, and other services that community clinics require for EHR adoption.

The first phase of the project included the creation of new networks for electronic health record adoption in California, including funding support for the Next Generation Health Network and its regional group of Planned Parenthood clinics. The second phase of the project focused on supporting efficient EHR implementations in an existing network. In August 2008, seven additional grantees representing four models of EHR deployment were funded to accelerate the adoption of EHRs in the safety net.

The grantees were:

  • California Rural Indian Health Board
  • The Children’s Clinic, Serving Children and Their Families
  • Golden Valley Health Centers
  • Open Door Community Health Center
  • Redwood Community Health Coalition
  • San Mateo Medical Center
  • Shasta Community Health Center

The grantees engaged in four models of collaborative EHR deployment:

  • The national network model: building or leveraging existing EHR networks
  • The clinic consortia model: expanding the EHR product and implementation services to additional members
  • The multisite expansion model: expanding adoption of the product and services to additional clinic sites
  • The hospital-based regional extension model: partnering with a local hospital to extend the product and services in a region or service area

The early experiences of the grantees are documented in a December 2009 issue brief, Making a Connection: Clinics Collaborate on EHR Deployment, available as a Document Download. The various implementation services that networks offer, along with their perceived benefits and trade-offs, are discussed in detail.

In addition, CHCF published a series of issue briefs that highlight lessons learned about EHR deployment techniques from the initiative. These publications are available through the Related CHCF Pages below.

CNEA was a collaboration of the California Health Care Foundation, the Blue Shield of California Foundation, and the Community Clinics Initiative, a joint project of the Tides Foundation and The California Endowment.