EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 15, 2013

Better information means better care, thanks to grant

LAWRENCE — Doctors at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center will receive training in new information technology system due to a $150,000 grant the agency received yesterday.

“This is wonderful news for us and for the community,” said Robert Ingala, chief executive officer at the health center.

Every time a patient goes to the health center, the attending physician will document treatment provided which will be helpful when the patient returns for a follow-up or goes to the hospital.

“It’s main focus is to accurately document the number of chronic illnesses, conditions and intervention required which results in better care for patients at the center,” Ingala said. “The more information we can document the better health care they will receive.”

He said the clinics installed electronic medical records last year and training doctors in medical coding meets the requirement established by the Affordable Care Act signed by President Barrack Obama in 2010.

“The whole issue of improving our coding is something we’ve been focusing on for some time. This (the grant) is just a wonder opportunity for us, use it in a very productive way.”

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center was one of 49 community health centers throughout the state to share $4.25 million provided by Neighborhood Health Plan and Partners HealthCare, through the Partnership for Community Health. The clinics are all members of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers.

“Community health centers are a cornerstone of an accessible high quality and cost effective health care delivery system, particularly for the undeserved,” Dr. Gary Gottlieb, president and chief executive officer for Partners HealthCare, said in a press release.

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