Lone Star Circle of Care – Improving Clinic Efficiency and Patient Care in Central Texas
Founded with the mission to steadfastly pursue quality, accessible and sustainable primary healthcare focused on the uninsured and underserved residents in Williamson and surrounding Central Texas Counties, Lone Star Circle of Care (LSCC) opened its first community clinic in Georgetown, Texas in 2002.
Within two years, LSCC began opening additional locations and expanding clinical services to include dental, pediatric and integrated mental health services. In December 2004, LSCC earned designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) providing a “safety net” and medical home for the uninsured and underinsured residents in its service area.
Lone Star Circle of Care is one of the largest nonprofit providers of health care services for children from low-income families in Central Texas. It operates nine community health clinics located in Georgetown, Round Rock and Granger. The clinics provide adult and pediatric primary care, mental health services, general family dentistry, chronic illness care, low-cost medications, wellness classes, and comprehensive women’s services including labor and delivery.
LSCC’s rapid growth and commitment to improve quality health care for the residents of Central Texas highlighted the need to update clinic operations with Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Electronic Practice Management (EPM) throughout LSCC’s network and at other area safety net providers.
Supporting Clinical Success and Technical Leadership
Based on LSCC’s success as a highly efficient, scalable and sustainable model for providing primary health care, the nonprofit has been called upon by local, state and national organizations over the past few years to assist other area community health centers. As part of its efforts, LSCC took a leadership role in securing a total $1.9 million in grant funds from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and the St. David’s Community Health Foundation to implement an EMR/EPM program that would support up to six Central Texas safety net providers including LSCC. The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation contributed $900,000 to the project.
The EMR/EPM system selected is called NextGen, a Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) certified program, and it provides the appropriate software, templates and networking capabilities to link all of the providers. The implementation of NextGen began at LSCC’s clinics in June 2008. Clinic staff worked closely with the NextGen implementation team, committing to after-hours training and supporting extended clinic hours, to minimize any interruption of patient care.
Additionally, the LSCC project team is currently helping prepare partner clinics People’s Community Clinic and El Buen Samaritano to go live on the NextGen system. When the regional EMR/EPM program implementation is completed, a patient’s detailed health record will be available to each and every provider on the system that has a possible interaction with the patient.
Lone Star Circle of Care Outlook
The single, comprehensive healthcare information system is enabling LSCC clinics to quickly access records, track outcomes and compile necessary reporting data regarding patient history, appointment schedules, prescription medications, medical notes, treatment options, billing and more.
Outcomes can be routinely communicated to staff as indicators of their performance. Through this process of measurement and feedback, LSCC expects to see an unprecedented improvement in quality of patient care at its clinics.
For more information visit their website at http://www.lscctx.org/