Press Releases



Columbus – Electronic health information technology is breaking through hospital walls, clinic corridors and physician practices across Ohio. The purpose: So doctors, nurses, and other healthcare clinicians can quickly and easily communicate with one another about their patients.

In Columbus, three Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) now are joining the statewide CliniSync Health Information Exchange (HIE), an electronic network of hospitals, physicians, and others who can share patient health information, such as test results, radiology reports, care summaries, medication histories, and other information that is vital when different doctors are treating the same patient.

Lower Lights Christian Health Center, Inc., Southeast, Inc,, Columbus Neighborhood Health Center, Inc., are federally-funded facilities that care for the impoverished and underinsured, and they are on the cutting-edge of the latest breakthrough in health information technology in Ohio.

Jeff Biehl, President of Access HealthColumbus, a regional healthcare improvement organization, knows the need for shared communications among care teams within these clinics and even beyond their walls.

"The exchange of health information is vital to creating a patient-centered approach to health care for all people in Greater Columbus," Biehl says. "Local community health centers are leading the way in adopting patient-centered models of care as the cornerstone organizations that serve those most vulnerable in medically underserved communities."

Joining the CliniSync HIE means the health centers will eventually be connected to the 141 hospitals that have committed to CliniSync thus far, as well as more than 1,500 physicians currently interested or connected. The Ohio Health Information Partnership, the nonprofit that manages CliniSync, says the number of providers who want to connect rises each day. The Partnership already has assisted 6,000 primary care physicians in the adoption of electronic health records.

"The addition of Federally Qualified Health Centers to CliniSync is the foundation of the federal program initiated by the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT, which is to reach out to physicians and facilities in rural and urban communities where technology is the most needed, yet scarce resources often prevent its implementation," says Dan Paoletti, CEO of the Ohio Health Information Partnership.

Lower Lights Christian Health Center (LLCHC), with locations in Franklinton on the west side of Columbus, on the campus of Mount Carmel West Hospital and in Marysville, Ohio, is excited about the use of this new technology.

Dr. Dana Vallangeon, LLCHC's founder and CEO, states, "We are anxious to be part of initiatives that will allow us to link with other providers and enhance the quality of care provided for our patients. Sharing patient records will enable us to provide even greater coordinated care to our underserved patient population. LLCHC sees Health Information Exchange as another addition to our best practice comprehensive medical home services."

Southeast, Inc., a comprehensive and integrated healthcare, mental health and recovery organization located at a number of sites in Downtown Columbus, also has joined CliniSync.

"CliniSync's options for the electronic sharing of health information promote a higher quality of care for our patients, increased patient satisfaction with their medical service, and increased efficiencies for medical providers," says CEO Bill Lee. "We are pleased to have this capacity and to work in partnership with other Community Health Centers, hospitals and specialists as central Ohio actively participates in electronic health information exchange."

Chief Executive Officer Tom Horan heads the Columbus Neighborhood Health Centercomprised of seven centers in culturally and economically diverse neighborhoods in the Columbus metropolitan area.

"The goal of the patient centered medical home is to assure that our patients receive coordinated care rather than fragmented, episodic care that has become all too common," Horan says. "The ability to share data between primary care providers, specialists and hospitals through the health information exchange will transform health service delivery resulting in improved health outcomes and enhanced quality of care for our patients."

Federally Qualified Health Centers are "safety net" providers such as community health centers, public housing centers, outpatient health programs funded by the Indian Health Service, and programs serving migrants and the homeless. The main purpose of the FQHC program is to enhance the provision of primary care services in underserved urban and rural communities.