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D E LTA H E A LT H A L L I A N C E

Post Office Box 277 • Stoneville, MS 38776

Contact us for more information:


662-686-7004 or visit us at:
www.deltahealthalliance.org
or on facebook or twitter.

DELTA HEALTH ALLIANCE • SOLUTIONS FOR A HEALTHY TOMORROW

BLUES Beacon Community


A PROGRAM CALLED

B E AC O N IN THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA


The Delta Health Alliance BLUES Beacon project
is dedicated to expanding the adoption of electronic
health records (EHR) and connecting those records
through health information exchanges (HIE).
More than 200 organizations and agencies nationally
submitted proposals to the federal government for the
opportunity to receive the limited number of Beacon
grants. The Delta Health Alliance is one of only 17
organizations that was selected to set an example, to
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serve as a Beacon, for the way electronic records and


electronic networks can advance the delivery of
health care.
The goal of these grants is to achieve measurable
improvements in health care quality, safety and
efficiency, and also lay the groundwork for an
emerging health information technology industry.
SERVICE AREA The BLUES (Better Living Utilizing Electronic
Systems) Beacon grant will bring the best information
technology to the Delta as a way of bringing doctors,
ABOUT DELTA HEALTH ALLIANCE hospitals, community health programs, federal
programs, and patients together to improve quality
The Delta Health Alliance, founded in 2006, is changing health care in and efficiency to benefit patients and taxpayers. The Delta Health Alliance is giving new meaning to the word “BLUES,”
the Mississippi Delta by improving access to health care and providing thanks to a $14.7 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Health
This vision is this: all health care providers in the
education for healthier lifestyles. We accomplish this mission by linking and Human Services and its American Recovery Act Beacon Community
Mississippi Delta – doctors, hospitals, pharmacists, Program. This grant will support the Delta Health Alliance’s Better Living
the three major universities that serve the Delta with the University of nursing homes, home-health agencies – will be Utilizing Electronic Systems (BLUES) project.
Mississippi Medical Center and with the Delta Council, the region’s electronically connected in a way that drastically
economic development organization; by using the latest findings from the changes the landscape of how every provider can work The BLUES project is a collaboration of the Delta Health Alliance with
fields of science, medicine, and public health to define our programs; by together to ensure the highest level of health care. various agencies in the Delta and across the state to bring health
regularly assessing every one of our initiatives on the basis of objective information technologies in the Mississippi Delta to a new level by
statistical data; and by accomplishing our work through community What does this mean: there will not be a doctor’s establishing and supporting networks of Electronic Health Records (EHR)
partners, recognizing that long-lasting change only occurs from black bag anymore. Only a tablet-size personal systems and then connecting them together.
computer. No hard-to-read handwritten
the bottom up.
prescriptions. Just a mouse-click transmission to any The ultimate goal over the three-year program period is to connect the
pharmacy, anywhere in the country. No charts or Delta itself, then connect the Delta with a similar statewide network of
The key is for everyone to work together toward the common goal of bulky paper records. Simply a series of commands health information records. These networks are called Health
changing the way health care is delivered. Bringing about that change, that keeps every aspect of a patient’s care in a virtual Information Exchanges (HIE). They dramatically expand the amount of
nurturing that change, and building on that change is what the Delta world. Improved efficiency. Increased patient safety. health care information available to health care professionals and their
Health Alliance is all about. Better doctor-patient communication. More accurate patients and expedite the flow of information. Better information and
and complete medical records. Transmissions are more timely information will lead to better care while reducing costs.
secure and HIPAA compliant. It all translates into an
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even higher level of care for Delta residents.
What Does the BLUES Beacon Community Project Mean for the Delta?
TERMS TO KNOW The implementation of EHRs and health information
What Does the BLUES
exchange provides an opportunity to redesign processes
Beacon Community Project
care management: within practices and throughout the health care system
Mean for the Delta?
Where a health care practice main- in the area in order to:
tains continuous relationships with
The Mississippi Delta struggles with a
patients by implementing evidence- • Promote best practices in chronic disease
based guidelines and applying them particularly high rate of diabetes —
management and care coordination
to the identified needs of individual approximately 13 percent of residents,
patients over time with the intensity compared with a national average of • Improve monitoring systems for
needed by patients seven percent. This region has a low diabetes control
number of health care providers and health care facilities, with resultant low • Enhance patient education efforts so
health information exchange (HIE): access to health care, which is reflected by the very poor health statistics in the that patients have the information they diabetic patients. The BLUES Beacon Community
The application of information Mississippi Delta.
processing involving both computer need to manage their conditions is actively looking for partners to assist in the imple-
hardware and software for the • Set up providers to achieve meaningful mentation of these programs. If you are interested in
To combat this, the DHA BLUES Beacon Community is dedicated to
storage, retrieval, and processing of use of EHRs becoming a partner, please contact the Beacon
health care information, data, and advancing delivery of care for residents of the Mississippi Delta who will
Community Director at 662-686-7004.
knowledge for communication and ultimately benefit from a health care delivery system that is more cost • Ensure that health information can flow
decision making efficient and easier to navigate. The BLUES (Better Living Utilizing reliably and securely among authorized Improvements for Patients and
Electronic Systems) Beacon Community will focus on improving the health parties, and the Community
electronic health records (EHR): of people living with diabetes, but the overall goal is to improve the health
An electronic health record generated of all people living in the Delta, using proven practice and information • Improve effectiveness and efficiencies Widespread use of EHRs and health information
and maintained with an organization, technology. We aim to make it easier for residents of the Delta to access care. in the practice setting, including better exchange means that medical history will be avail-
such as a hospital, integrated delivery patient outcomes. able when a patient seeks care from another provider.
network, clinic, or physician office, to
give patients, physicians, and other
By looking at that history, the provider will see what
health care providers, employers, and
Goal of the Program other professionals have prescribed and the history of
The BLUES Beacon Community will also address
payers or insurers access to a patient’s significant barriers to the implementation of EHR and that patient’s lab results. This will help facilitate faster,
medical records throughout the orga- The goal of the BLUES Beacon Community is to improve access to care for more accurate and more efficient diagnosis and care.
telemedicine initiatives in the area, including the lack
nization as permitted by law diabetic patients to create a community dedicated to improving health in the
of high speed telecommunication lines, physician and
Delta. The community will do this by the meaningful use of electronic health Providers will improve their current care by having
evidence-based medicine:
staff acceptance to change, and the lack of fully
records (EHRs) and health information exchange by primary care providers additional staff to help patients navigate the health
The use of research and scientific implemented Practice Management systems in the
in the Mississippi Delta. The program also seeks to increase the efficiency of care system. They will also have new electronic tools
studies as a base for determining the provider’s office.
health care in the area by reducing excess health care costs for patients with called “Care Guides” that provide evidence based
best practices in a field. Evidence- diabetes through the use of EHR-related interventions that will: clinical decisions support. It is in this way that
based medicine provides transparency
and assures the public that techniques A Team Approach providers can recommend the best, most up-to-date
and procedures will provide the best treatment for a patient’s care.
possible interventions or treatments. • Encourage the use of best practices for the management The Delta Health Alliance (DHA) is a partnership
of diabetes and related conditions founded by Delta State University, Mississippi State Health information technology can also allow patients
medication adherence: University, Mississippi Valley State University, to become more active in their own care. For example,
• Reduce preventable hospital stays due to diabetes
Adherence to (or compliance with) University of Mississippi Medical Center, and Delta when patients can see the tracked results of laboratory
a medication regimen is generally • Provide more accurate billing information Council. The mission of Delta Health Alliance is to results via their own personal health record, they see
defined as the extent to which advocate, develop and implement collaborative the connection between their daily habits and
patients take medications as projects that: increase access and availability of health medication adherence and their health outcomes.
prescribed by their health care
Using Health IT to Make a Difference care in the Delta; conduct and apply research of health
providers.
problems and issues to reduce ill health among Delta Through a program with the University of Mississippi
clinical decision support: The BLUES Beacon Community will provide support for the use of best residents; and offer health education programs that School of Pharmacy, patients will receive monthly
A clinical system, application or practices in clinical care as well as in the implementation of EHRs in the encourage and enable Delta residents to adopt good telephone calls to see if they have questions about their
process that helps health profession- Mississippi Delta. The program will also help to build the infrastructure for health practices. medications or how to take them. It is hoped that this
als make clinical decisions to enhance health information exchange that will connect these providers with each other program will help reduce the negative impact –
patient care. and with local hospitals and will allow them to work more effectively and DHA staff also work with the Mississippi Regional including hospital and nursing home admissions
cooperatively to improve the disease management of their patients. Extension Center to provide education to providers and automobile accidents – of mis-used or un-used
who use EHRs regarding the application of best prescription medications.
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