July 22, 2013
Lebanon healthcare provider named among ONC Health IT Fellows
Dr. Bambi McQuade-Jones one of 28 providers nationwide to with direct input to meaningful use of EHRs
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — An early adopter of the federal Electronic Health Records (EHR) Meaningful Use initiative in Indiana was named a Health IT Fellow (Fellows) by the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT, giving Bambi McQuade-Jones of Lebanon, Ind., a voice in the pace and direction of the program to improve the quality, safety, efficiency and care coordination of hospital and practice-provider EHR systems.
“As Health IT Fellows, we respond to the stages of the Meaningful Use initiative by offering perspectives that will best allow for both an improved patient and improved provider experience as they interface with new technologies, such as provider-to-provider health exchanges, electronic patient portals, and e-prescribing,” said McQuade-Jones, DNP, APRN,FNP-C, a family nurse practitioner with a doctorate of nursing practice who founded the Boone County Community Health Clinic in the late-90s to serve primarily underserved and underinsured patients. The self-supported, not-for-profit clinic employs a staff of 12 and serves approximately 6,000 patients per year.
McQuade-Jones is one of 28 Fellows who will meet regularly in Washington, D.C., for the next year to provide grassroots insight and feedback on the appropriateness, clarity and effectiveness of the ONC’s Meaningful Use initiative. Fellows are asked by the ONC to “lend their voice and experience regarding ways providers can leverage Health IT to improve patient engagement and experience in the delivery of patient care, making Meaningful Use meaningful.”
As executive director of the clinic, McQuade-Jones worked with the Purdue Regional Extension Center, a division of Purdue Healthcare Advisors responsible for guiding the majority of Indiana providers to EHR Meaningful Use compliance, to select an EHR vendor that would best meet its needs. “Boone County Community Clinic wanted to upgrade from an EHR system that functioned merely as an electronic paper chart,” said Purdue REC Director Randy Hountz. “Purdue partnered with clinic leadership and staff to ensure theirs system would improve patient outcomes, improve safety for patients, and decrease medical errors.”
To ease the transition from old to new EHR system, Purdue educated the clinic staff on the new system’s advanced functionality. McQuade-Jones, meantime, secured grants and additional funding that allowed her to hire licensed practical nurses to help capture information in the EHR and provide care-planning support. Moving patient data from the old to new system took time, so the practice purposefully decreased patient volume during the implementation period to ensure proper implementation and training.
Today, the clinic’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) scores are up significantly; Purdue is helping the clinic to implement the factors necessary to receive Patient Centered Medical Home Level 2 recognition; and McQuade-Jones serves on the Executive Nurse Fellows program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as one of 20 nurses selected nationally to help lead a reformed health care system. McQuade-Jones also was recognized by the Indiana Primary Healthcare Association as “Most Innovative Provider of the Year.”