This is Public Health

Louisiana Map

A new website recently launched in Baton Rouge features a high-tech mapping tool, allowing people to delve into data ranging from where parks and libraries are located to crime statistics and educational levels mapped out across the parish.

The new “City Key” website also features neighborhood forums, so people can post events and other communications for residents in their neighborhoods.

Click here for more information from the Advocate.

LPHI Color (high resolution)

The Louisiana Clinical Data Research Network (LACDRN) was recently approved for a funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to develop and expand a health data network that will be part of PCORnet: the National Patient-Centered National Clinical Research Network. The LACDRN is one of 29 such networks that were approved nation-wide for a total of approximately $93.5 million from PCORI on Dec. 17, 2013, to form this new national resource that aims to boost the efficiency of health research.

The LACDRN is a partnership between the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and Tulane University. This project, including its requested budget of $6.9 million, is approved subject to a programmatic and budget review by PCORI staff and the negotiation of a formal award contract. During the next 18 months, this collaborative partnership will work together to build an infrastructure for clinical research that may benefit millions of patients in Louisiana. Additionally, the team will advance the capacity to conduct efficient clinical research on two highly prevalent health conditions, obesity and diabetes, along with multiple associated comorbidities, sickle cell disease, and some rare cancers.

“We are thrilled to receive this PCORI award,” said Dr. Anjum Khurshid, Principal Investigator and Director of Health Systems at LPHI. “The LACDRN is a unique collaboration between a top-level research center (Pennington Biomedical), an academic institution of great repute (Tulane) and an established, community-based public health institute (LPHI). The infrastructure investments in IT in this region and the strong relationships with our community partners provide an unprecedented opportunity to involve patients, clinicians and researchers in meaningful clinical research. Not only does the LACDRN promise to bring opportunities for funding clinical research in our state, it also opens numerous opportunities for economic development, entrepreneurship, and job creation in this region and puts Louisiana and New Orleans on the map of major players in biomedical and translational medical research.”

Click here to read the full story.

Medical record

In response to growing local and national interest in health system performance improvement, two New Orleans-based public health organizations, the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) and Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (SPHTM), recently partnered to launch the Health Systems Analytics Research Center (HSARC).

As the first center of its kind in the region, HSARC will focus on improving health system performance and efficiency through systematic analysis of health data related to human, technological, and social factors affecting health outcomes. Sample projects HSARC will be involved with include analysis of frequent use of emergency departments using Health Information Exchange (HIE) data, examination of pharmacy data to study the effects of medication on patient health outcomes, and the study of how medical homes impact quality of clinical care.

Click here to read the full story.

Medical record

Residents of Louisiana and other Delta states face significant health challenges, particularly with obesity and diabetes, according to new data compiled by the Delta Regional Authority.

The authority recently introduced an online tool that allows residents and public health leaders to track regional health data to develop health solutions for the region served by the authority — Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missuori and Tennessee.

The authority’s Healthy Delta Research Database provides reports of health and other major community indicators broken down by state and parish or county.

Click here to find out more.

Health IT

The Greater New Orleans Health Information Exchange (GNOHIE), launched in late 2012 in the Greater New Orleans area, and its many partners was recently highlighted in the May/June issue of the Healthcare Journal of New Orleans. Check some of it out below. To read the full article, click here.

“In our ever more connected world, it makes sense that healthcare providers are increasingly exploring connectivity as a pathway to delivering quality care. Most hospitals, clinics, and even private practices are adopting electronic health records (EHRs) to better track patient information and in many cases provide patients with improved access to both that information and their healthcare providers between visits. In some cases, providers have agreed to adopt the same electronic health record (EHR) to improve communication as patients move between care settings, but for the most part, physicians and healthcare facilities have shopped for and implemented a wide variety of EHRs based on a number of factors, such as cost, ease of implementation, user friendliness, and more. So while they may have improved quality and efficiency within their own practice, they remain part of a fragmented system of healthcare delivery that few believe is best for patients, providers, quality or cost containment.”

To continue reading, click here.

To learn more about the GNOHIE, click here.

To learn more about LPHI’s work, click here.

Louisiana Map

The Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) and BioDistrict New Orleans recently signed a MOU highlighting a new partnership designed to promote New Orleans as a hub for healthcare innovation.

The healthcare and biosciences industries are rapidly growing in New Orleans, which Dr. James A. Richardson, John Rhea Alumni Professor of Economics and director of the E. J. Ourso College of Business, has estimated to generate 34,000 new or retained jobs and $24 billion in economic activity over the next 20 years. By working together, along with their respective partners, the organizations will strive to improve population health outcomes, accelerate economic growth and employee/labor productivity, provide broader access to quality healthcare, and increase research funding for area Universities through educational training and workforce development opportunities.

Click here to read the full story.

Health IT

The Crescent City Beacon Community (CCBC) and its numerous partners, convened by the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), was recently awarded the 2013 Innovator Award from Healthcare Informatics for its efforts to transform the healthcare delivery system in the Greater New Orleans area.

The CCBC program and the Greater New Orleans Health Information Exchange (GNOHIE) are part of a larger healthcare improvement revolution that demonstrates how health information technology investments and meaningful use of electronic medical records advance the vision of patient-centered care, while achieving the triple aim of better health, better care, and lower costs.

In April 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology chose the Greater New Orleans area as one of only 17 federally funded Beacon communities. Since then, CCBC has advanced several innovative projects, including creating a new patient-centered care coordination system for the New Orleans area, enabled by the GNOHIE, the city’s first Health Information Exchange.

Click here to read the full story.

Medical record

The Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum launched its most recent initiative Louisiana’s health information exchange, known as LaHIE, on Friday Nov. 4th.

So what does this mean for you, the consumer? It means that, for example, you’ll soon be able to give your personal health information to your physician just once instead of having to fill out numerous forms every time you visit, among numerous other benefits.

Currently being piloted in the Acadiana region, LaHIE is a tool that will allow for the secure exchange of your health information among authorized providers and across Louisiana’s health care system. The goal of this program is to help improve patient safety, quality of care and health outcomes.

For more information, check out the program’s website here.

Also, WWL-TV ran a great story detailing the program which you can watch here.

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The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals recently added new features to www.healthfinderla.gov, a comprehensive online resource that allows users to compare cost and quality of services offered by hospitals, nursing homes, and public and private health care plans. The site now includes information to compare dialysis facilities and home health care options and a physician locator that helps you find physicians, specialists, and other health care providers in your local area. Visit the site.

The Greater New Orleans area has been selected as one of 15 communities across the country to address racial health disparities and improve control of diabetes and smoking cessation rates by empowering patients through increased access to their own electronic Personal Health Records. As part of the Federal Recovery Act, The Louisiana Public Health Institute has been awarded nearly $14 million through the Beacon Community Program to link technically isolated health systems, providers and hospitals – so that medical records can be shared across health systems. This grant will not only help achieve improvements in health care quality, safety and efficiency, but it will also allow for patient information sharing among private hospitals, community clinics and school-based health centers. Read the press release for more detail.