A $150,000 three-year grant to help Boone County Community Clinic track the health of its clients has been in limbo pending a solution to the federal budget crisis but now appears to be a certainty.
The clinic administration was told Sept. 20 it had been awarded the grant. But then the federal government shut down, so they’ve been waiting to receive the money, said clinic Executive Director Dr. Bambi McQuade-Jones.
“We’re in a holding pattern,” she said last week before legislators went back to work. Now, McQuade-Jones said, “Everything is fine. There are no changes to the grant, and we feel confident that everything will go well. We’re very excited and honored for this opportunity.”
The clinic was the only agency in Indiana, and one of only 40 organizations nationwide, to receive one of the “small health care provider quality improvement grants” from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, McQuade-Jones said. The money will be distributed through the HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration, she said.
“It’s for quality improvement through the use of electronic medical records and managing patient outcomes,” McQuade-Jones said. “It’s about managing chronic disease and preventing it through systematic management of medical records.”
The grant will allow the clinic to hire someone full time for a “nurse informatics” position, she said. That will help the clinic create reports that ensure patients are receiving the treatments they need, whether it’s diagnostic testing such as mammograms and blood draws, or ensuring the prescriptions those clients are taking are not contraindicated.
“It’s all about the high quality of medical care you can get through electronic medical records,” McQuade-Jones said, adding that patients will also be able to access their records so they can truly be engaged in their care.