The future of health care as we know it is about to change. Parkland Foundation, on behalf of Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI) and Parkland Health & Hospital System (PHHS), is honored to accept a grant of up to $12 million from the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation at Communities Foundation of Texas. The grant will enable PCCI to build the Dallas Information Exchange Portal (IEP), a revolutionary, electronic integration platform that will transform the delivery of health care, drastically improve the health of the community and serve as a model for the state and the country.
“The Dallas IEP is an exciting advancement for health care and social service organizations,” said Brent Christopher, president and CEO of Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT). “The Caruth Foundation at CFT is dedicated to supporting game-changing innovation, and we are proud to be a part of this historic development.”
The Dallas IEP will help solve a persistent problem faced by patients, hospitals, clinics and social service organizations: fragmented patient information that inhibits delivery of care to patients. Critical knowledge about the social and economic needs of vulnerable patients is often lost as they move between different care centers such as hospitals, clinics, homeless shelters, food aid organizations and other social assistance agencies that have traditionally operated on the periphery of the health care sector. The results can be drastic and costly; lacking the information necessary to make the best care decisions can inhibit delivery of care to patients at the most critical moments. Consequences can include early mortality, hospital readmission, low birth weight and chronic disease complications.
After years of building and testing patent-pending technologies, PCCI has designed a solution. The Dallas IEP will engage with existing technologies in the community to enable seamless, secure connections for sharing relevant patient data across both health care and social service sectors. Artificial intelligence features will be developed that leverage advanced algorithms and analytics.
These analytics will be used to interpret medical as well as critical social risk factors to more accurately predict a patient’s risk of adverse health events and enable care providers to select and deliver targeted interventions to vulnerable patients across the region.
The results of such a breakthrough will be felt by the entire community. The Dallas IEP will help providers deliver the best care to their patients as soon as they need it, help reduce immense costs to taxpayers and, most importantly, put patients at the center of their care.
“Our belief is that the Dallas IEP represents a radical technological vision for cross-sector, Metroplex-wide patient care,” said Dr. Ruben Amarasingham, president and CEO of PCCI. “We are incredibly humbled to receive this grant – and to reinvent the way healthcare can be delivered."
Following a successful 18-month feasibility study funded by the Caruth Foundation at CFT, PCCI developed a five-year blueprint to build the IEP in Dallas. The additional grant of up to $12 million will be used to operationalize and launch the exchange portal between 2014 and 2019, integrating up to 12 local social service organizations and health care organizations, starting with PHHS. The availability of critical social data will enable care providers to reach across sectors to address risk factors such as homelessness, poverty, food assistance, mental health, mobility and aging. Having this vital information available, and being able to act on it, could save a patient’s life.
“We strongly believe the Dallas IEP will enable us to enhance the services we provide our clients,” said Rev. Jay Cole, executive director of Crossroads Community Services (CCS), one organization that participated in the Dallas IEP’s feasibility and design phase. “CCS provides low-income families with healthful food options, nutrition workshops, meal planning and obesity prevention methods, and knowing critical medical data about our clients will drastically improve our ability to meet our clients’ dietary needs. The Dallas IEP will allow us to collaborate with other care providers like never before.”
The Dallas IEP builds on nearly two decades of efforts across the country to establish and maintain health information exchange systems. While embracing the advancements of past efforts, PCCI also recognizes the technical issues, financial viability challenges and concerns with identity and privacy that have hindered many initiatives in the past. The Dallas IEP will incorporate carefully researched and innovative approaches to ensure utmost privacy, security and confidentiality of patient data – pushing the boundaries of the potential of health information technology and enhancing the likelihood of sustainability.
Support for the Dallas IEP spreads far and wide. PCCI has received 30 letters of commendation and support from political, community and medical luminaries across the country. Awards to PCCI from major scientific granting organizations include the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, the National Cancer Institute, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.
“I know I speak for the entire Parkland family when I say we could not be more proud of the potential PCCI has unlocked with the Dallas IEP,” said Dr. David Krause, president and CEO of Parkland Foundation. “The successful launch of the IEP will make Dallas the most advanced city in the nation with respect to information exchange, and we are truly blessed by the support of the Caruth Foundation at CFT to bring to life this incredible resource for our medical providers, partners and patients at Parkland.”