Petaluma Health Center Selected as first 2017 HIMSS Community Health Davies Award Recipient

Originally posted in HIMSS' Health IT Pulse, Monday, September 12th 


Petaluma Health Center (PHC) Selected as 2017 HIMSS Community Health Davies Award Recipient

CHICAGO (September 12, 2017) - In the last two years, the serious issue of hypertension in Sonoma County (California) became a priority for Petaluma Health Center (PHC). This federally qualified health center provides health care services to 35,000 patients in the county each year, including a 54-year-old Haitian immigrant patient with uncontrolled high blood pressure.

This patient’s care team, composed of his primary care provider, team nurse and medical assistant, identified this patient using PHC’s analytics tool. They contacted the patient and found he had many medications, including one prescription for blood pressure, but he did not know when and how to take them. The care team asked him to bring his medications to a team nurse who organized them using a pill planner. His blood pressure is now under control.

Recipient of the 2017 Community Health HIMSS Davies Award, Petaluma Health Center (PHC) was founded in 1996 and became a federally qualified health center in 2000. Dedicated to maximizing the value of health IT systems, PHC used their EHR and analytics platform to

  • drive healthcare decisions,
  • support care management of population health, and
  • improve clinical outcomes.

PHC has received this award from HIMSS based on two use cases that demonstrate their efforts to use EHR technology to improve patient health.

As a data-driven organization, PHC is committed to maximizing the value of health IT to improve health outcomes for their patients. The organization quickly embraced health IT to better support physicians, nurses and other team members in optimizing case management for patients with chronic conditions. Because of these efforts, PHC now successfully uses their EHR and analytics platform to drive decisions and support their care teams’ management of population health, while also improving clinical outcomes.

“In our community, heart disease and stroke are a real problem,” explained Dr. Danielle Oryn, chief medical informatics officer at PHC. “In 2013, 25% of deaths in Sonoma County were attributed to heart disease and stroke.” PHC set a goal to decrease the number of heart attacks and strokes within their patient population by improving hypertension control. The organization’s plan of action included construction of standard clinical guidelines into their EHR, as well as providing real time data to care teams about blood pressure control. This allowed teams to create individualized plans for each patient.

“Petaluma has established a culture where they bring clinical performance data directly to their providers in order to generate real time information for quality improvement. Petaluma’s use of technology promotes quality improvement efforts while hard-coded applications help reduce costs by enabling providers to select inexpensive medication alternatives,” said Jonathan French, CPHIMS, senior director, quality and patient safety, and director, Davies Award of Excellence Program, HIMSS. “HIMSS congratulates the team members of Petaluma Health on being selected as a Nicholas E. Davies Award of Excellence Community Health recipient.”

Petaluma Health Center (PHC) will be recognized at the HIMSS18 Awards Gala at Wynn Hotel Las Vegas on Thursday, March 8, 2018. Register for HIMSS18 here.


Learn more about how PHC has achieved excellence with health IT by listening to their use cases.


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