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Greater Tulsa Reporter

Coalition Receives Grant for Statewide Database

Managing Editor

MEDICAL AND SOCIAL SERVICES: MyHealth CEO Dr. David Kendrick speaks about the MyHealth Access Network and the $4.5 million grant that was recently awarded to Oklahoma’s Route 66 Coalition to create an Accountable Health Community, which will create a statewide database that will address patients’ social issues and needs, in addition to medical needs.

EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers

The federal government recently selected Oklahoma’s Route 66 Coalition to receive a $4.5 million grant to create an Accountable Health Community, which will create a statewide database that will address patients’ social issues and needs, in addition to medical needs.

The idea behind the healthcare database, or health information network, named MyHealth Access Network, saw its beginnings in 2009, when executives from the regional healthcare organizations assembled at the request of then-Mayor Kathy Taylor to discuss Oklahoma’s very low public health profile.

The result was the creation of MyHealth, a non-profit coalition of more than 400 health-related organizations in Oklahoma that enables patients to have their complete health records securely available whenever and wherever they need it. The MyHealth database provides doctors, hospitals and other care providers a way to better coordinate patient care, identify needed preventive services, prevent mistakes, and save patients money by avoiding unnecessary tests and copays, says MyHealth CEO Dr. David Kendrick.

In 2016, the Route 66 Consortium was formed to bring together the Oklahoma City-County and Tulsa Health Departments and more than 200 other Oklahoma health care and social service organizations into the MyHealth database.

Oklahoma’s Route 66 AHC program will screen more than 75,000 Oklahomans each year for social needs in five areas that often lead to poor health outcomes: housing insecurity, food insecurity, utility assistance, interpersonal violence and transportation. Patients seeking medical care will be asked questions related to these five areas and, if necessary, will then be connected with community social service “navigators”—a new role in the city-county health departments funded by the AHC grant. The navigators will work with patients and their families to evaluate their needs and to help them select the best organizations to improve their situation.

“MyHealth’s role in the program is to serve as the project’s bridging organization, connecting and coordinating all of the moving parts of the program,” notes Kendrick. “In addition, MyHealth provides the technology to connect and securely exchange data and enable electronic referrals to social service agencies and other providers when needed.”

“By linking prevention and wellness efforts with sick-care we can create a forward thinking approach to preventing illness, saving money and most importantly saving the lives of Oklahomans,” says Oklahoma City-County Health Department Executive Director Gary Cox.

Oklahoma’s AHC pilot program will begin in January of next year, with the program being fully implemented in May 2018.

Updated 10-04-2017

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