By Rod Rose
Assistant Managing Editor
A $150,000 three-year grant that will help the Boone County Community Clinic track the health of its clients, is in limbo pending a solution to the federal budget crisis.
The clinic was told Sept. 20 it had been awarded the grant. But then the federal government shut down, so the clinic is waiting to receive the money, said clinic executive director Dr. Bambi McQuade-Jones. “We’re in a holding pattern,” she said.
The clinic was the only agency in Indiana, and one of only 40 organizations nationwide, that received the grants from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, McQuade-Jones said.
Called a small health care provider quality improvement grant, the money will be distributed through the HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration, she said.
“It’s for quality improvement through the use of electronic medical records, and managing patient outcomes,” she said.
“It’s about managing chronic disease and preventing it,” McQuade-Jones said, “through systematic management of medical records.”
The grant will allow the clinic to hire someone full time for a “nurse informatics” position, McQuade-Jones said.
That will help the clinic create reports that ensure patients are receiving the treatments they need, whether it’s diagnostic testing such as mammograms and blood draws, or ensuring the prescriptions those clients are taking are not contraindicated.
“It’s all about the high quality of medical care you can get through electronic medical records,” she said.
Patients will also be able to access their records, “so they can truly be engaged in their care,” McQuade-Jones said.
The clinic is preparing to move into a larger building at 416 W. Camp St., next to its existing facility at 404 W. Camp St. Transferring equipment will begin Oct. 31 and last through Nov. 3, she said. “I think we’re going to see some patients on that Saturday, to see how the system works.
An open house is planned for 4-7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at the new location.
Another financial benefit will allow the clinic to adjust the fees it charges clients.
See Tuesday's Lebanon Reporter for more on this story.