Health Center News, NACHC Events

Clinical Innovation Awards Honor Chatbot, Screening, and Well-Child Projects

While Community Health Centers are valued as the nation’s largest primary care network, little is known about the ways they are often a major source of innovation in healthcare and support services. At NACHC, we lift up their innovations through initiatives like the Center for Community Health Innovation and our new Clinical Innovation Showcase.   

For our first Showcase event this fall, 28 health centers, Primary Care Associations (PCAs), and Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs) submitted applications. We sponsored this Clinical Innovation Showcase with Community Health Ventures as a platform for clinical care teams to share unique and impactful initiatives designed to reach Quintuple Aim goals: improved health outcomes, improved staff and provider experiences, lower costs, and health equity.  

With so many impressive programs to choose from, we are pleased to highlight our top three winners: AllianceChicago, AltaMed, and Oak Orchard Health. Each received complimentary travel and conference fees to the Financial, Operations Management/Information Technology (FOM/IT) conference in October 2022 and were acknowledged with an award during the Clinical Innovation Showcase ceremony. As a first-place award, AllianceChicago received $10,000 to support their award-winning clinical innovation.  

View all the competition submissions targeting improvements in data, technology, informatics, care teams and the workforce, health equity, partnerships, virtual and curbside care. Keep an eye out for next year’s application opportunity. 

We also want to thank Baxter Health, BlueStar Telehealth, and McKesson Medical for their sponsorship. 

1st Place Innovation: AllianceChicago, Chicago, IL 

Child Health Engagement and Coaching Using Patient Centered Innovation (CHEC-UP) 

AllianceChicago partnered with Tapestry 360 Health and QliqSOFT to pilot a project that used chatbot technology to optimize and deliver messages to families about the importance of well child visits and up-to-date vaccinations to increase the completion rate of these services. Using QliqSOFT’s customizable AI chatbot platform, “Quincy”, texts and emails in either English or Spanish launched a chatbot dialogue with nearly 250 parents through Tapestry 360 Health. Parents were reminded of well child visits and immunizations that were due, were engaged with evidenced-based child health educational resources prior to appointments, could ask questions, and could schedule appointments online or by phone. 

2nd Place Innovation: AltaMed, Los Angeles, CA 

Diverse Colorectal Cancer Screening (CRC) Approaches and High Touch Patient Navigation for Abnormal Follow Up 

As with many preventative screenings the COVID-19 pandemic led to a decrease in CRC screenings. This was already a challenge for many AltaMed’s Latino/a patients due to a lack of transportation and rigid shift work schedules. In response, AltaMed designed an innovative end-to-end workflow and CRC screening outreach strategy that enabled the health center to directly communicate with patients to encourage colorectal cancer screenings. The health centered distributed 7500 free home colorectal screening tests and supported the distribution with a multi-channel texting and video campaign that included educational animated fotonovelas, and high-touch patient navigation strategies to increase rates of CRC screenings and abnormal test follow up among Latino/a patients, age 46-69. 

3rd Place Innovation: Oak Orchard Health, Brockport, NY  

Mommy and Me Healthy We Will Be 

Oak Orchard Health’s behavioral health team created its Mommy and Me Healthy We Will Be program to support new moms and babies as a team. Their aim was to help achieve optimal maternal and child health and normalize conversations around postpartum depression and anxiety. This program integrates behavioral health care managers into the pediatric care team. Each care manager attends well child visits starting with the first visit after delivery through age five. During child well visits, care managers screen moms for depression, anxiety, substance use, and social determinants of health barriers. They also conduct developmental screenings using the Ages and Stages screening tool, and track adherence to immunization schedules and well child visits. Assessments inform needs for other health center services, or services from external partners. Parents can also access a diaper bank and early childhood literacy resources. Mommy and Me Healthy We Will Be is designed to be sustainable and replicable by incorporating several revenue streams, including billable evidenced-based assessments and increased referrals to other in-service lines.