HHC: $12 Million to Improve NYC Hospitals' IT, Facilities

John Commins, September 17, 2010

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation has been awarded two grants totaling $12.8 million for projects that include creating a medical home model for schizophrenics, and renovating facilities to provide more efficient care of diabetics and other chronic care patients.

A $10 million grant for the patient-centered medical home model will coordinate primary care services and behavioral health care for nearly 5,000 patients with schizophrenia within the 11-zip code care coordination zone across Queens, Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan.

HHC will build an IT infrastructure based on the hospitals' existing electronic health records system to allow patient information exchanges among five HHC hospitals and health centers and mental health community-based providers. The information sharing will allow the providers to access clinical information, medication and problem lists, results and referrals. The HHC participating facilities include Elmhurst, Queens and Woodhull Hospitals, Gouverneur Healthcare Services, and Cumberland Diagnostic & Treatment Center.

HHC also received nearly $2.8 million for two construction projects that will reduce excess beds and inpatient services in favor of lower-cost outpatient care. A $900,000 grant awarded to Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn will be used to construct a diabetes clinical care suite adjacent to an already existing diabetes resource center. A $1.9 million grant to Woodhull Hospital Center in Brooklyn will help create a Specialty Care Pavilion for chronic disease management, promising an additional 16,000 outpatient visits annually.

The project creates 10 exam rooms for specialty care, new space for clinical support services, a centralized registration area, improved multi-lingual signs providing direction, and a "navigator" to assist patients. Specialty services will include pain management, asthma care, adolescent medicine, dermatology, and surgery. The additional space will allow ultimately for an additional 5,300 specialty visits annually.

Funding for both projects is provided by the New York State Department of Health, and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, through the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law of New York, and the Federal State Health Reform Partnership.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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