Giving Congregations the Tools to Track Health Together
All across New York City, members of houses of worship and other community organizations have takenon the mission of helping each other live long, healthy lives. One example of this is a church-basedprogram in which congregants run regular blood pressure monitoring programs after Sunday Services;
organize walking clubs; teach classes on healthy cooking; and hold “Biggest Loser” competitions.
Over a year ago, The Primary Care Information Project (PCIP), a bureau of the New York City HealthDepartment, met with 9 community-based organizations, all church health ministries with active bloodpressure monitoring programs, to see if health information technology could strengthen their healthprograms. The church leaders identified the following challenges:The paper cards they used to track blood pressure (BP) readings made it difficult to conduct targetedoutreach to members with the highest risk for adverse health events.They had no easy way to track health trends in the church community on the whole.In response to suggestions from this meeting, PCIP partnered with a leading Personal Health Record(PHR) software vendor to develop the Community Health Dashboard. In March of 2012, four Brooklynchurches began using the Dashboard as part of the blood pressure monitoring sessions.Through blood pressure monitoring at these churches, 116 members have signed up for a PHR andshared their blood pressure readings with the health ministry volunteers.
The Dashboard has several functions
The lay health worker cangenerate a list of participants with thegreatest risk
for heartattack and stroke accordingto their most recent BP.He/she and othervolunteers can make sureto check in more regularlywith these participants andprioritize them for inclusionin new health programs.