Volunteers in Medicine of Monroe County has been awarded a special project grant through the Indiana State Department of Health.
The award amount is $37,500. We are extremely excited about the scope of this project. We are partnering with NoMoreClipboard, a company based in Fort Wayne, Indiana who operate a personal health record (PHR) of the same name, and HealthLINC, our local Health Information Exchange (HIE). This program will help VIM patient with diabetes manage their condition and share information with healthcare providers in Monroe and Owen Counties. The program will enable VIM to determine the potential impact that using a PHR can have in improving diabetic compliance, improving clinical outcomes and reducing costs. In addition this program will enable VIM to ascertain the potential value of offering a PHR application to its entire patient population. VIM safety net patients seek and receive a significant percentage of healthcare services from a core group of providers, including VIM, Bloomington Hospital and area specialists who provide no or low cost care. However, coordinating care can be a challenge as these patients move from provider to provider. Without a means of easily sharing patient information, providers lack access to clinical data including medication lists, allergies, conditions and lab results. This lack of data invariably contributes to service duplication, unnecessary costs and avoidable errors. The Bloomington medical community has 270 physicians and staff that use HealthLINC HIE to communicate and the VIM clinic has been a vital player in this evolving care coordination system.
The grant will be implemented the following way: one group of patients will be provided with a VIM PHR that they will access primarily via computer. Patients in this group would have home access to a computer and internet connection or regular access at another location, such as the public library or at the VIM clinic. The second group will be provided with additional access to the PHR via a smartphone. Patients in this group would either have a smartphone with a data plan or be in a position to upgrade easily to such a phone/plan. These patients would be provided with a monthly stipend (approximately $20 per month) to help subsidize their data plan with the stipend contingent on active participation/use of the PHR. One of the tasks required would be to input their glucose readings into their phone, which would upload to their PHR. The third group would not utilize the PHR and would serve as a control group. All the patients who have their PHR activated would have it populated with the existing information that is held within the HealthLINC Clinical Messaging system now, so that historical data is available for comparison.