A Healthier Wisconsin

Implementing a Health Outcomes Measurement System in Wisconsin's Free and Charitable Clinics

Designing and piloting an outcomes measurement system for free and charitable clinics

Full Project Name:Implementing a Health Outcomes Measurement System in Wisconsin's Free and Charitable ClinicsPrimary Community Organization:Wisconsin Association of Free and Charitable ClinicsPrimary Academic Partner:Staci Young, PhD, Family MedicineAward Amount:$199,836
Award Date
Project Duration:18 months

Project Description Narrative:

This project seeks to close the gap of low-income Wisconsinites' access to high-quality healthcare and provide free and charitable clinics in the state with the capability to assess care quality and service delivery. Systematically collected metrics, critical to improving service quality and addressing inequity, have been previously unavailable to free and charitable clinics, leaving them with little guidance on how to serve their patient population better. Developing outcome measures for free and charitable clinics will allow the Wisconsin Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (WAFCC) team to gather data to further gauge how well its members are impacting the communities they serve.

According to the county health rankings in 2020, 7% of Wisconsin was uninsured. In addition, 10.4% live below the federal poverty line, and 8.3% of Wisconsinites neglect to get care due to costs. The patient population served by free and charitable clinics is often out of the reach of the traditional healthcare system in the current climate of health insurance coverage. This project will develop a team and system to pilot an outcomes measurement system for five free and charitable clinics in Wisconsin.

WAFCC sees this project as the catalyst for future implementation in free and charitable clinics across Wisconsin. Through this project, WAFCC envisions that with the data collected from the five pilot clinics, they can work to engage other clinics across Wisconsin to participate in outcome measures as well. From there, they will get more data and feedback that can be shared with clinics to create new or improved practices, policies, and procedures. This will, in turn, allow for an increase in the quality and level of care that free and charitable clinics can provide to even more patients throughout Wisconsin.

Community partners: Americares Roadmap to Health Equity, Loyola University Roadmap to Health Equity, North Carolina Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, Wisconsin Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:

  • Recruited steering committee consisting of over 20 individuals who are clinic directors, WAFCC staff, an academic professor, and contracted partners
  • Recruited five pilot clinics to participate in the program. Three outcome measures were developed for the pilot clinics, including screening for clinical depression & follow-up plan, diabetes: Hemoglobin A1c Poor Control, and controlling high blood pressure
  • Partnered with Analytics Consultant who will be providing support on data collection and analysis. Project team is working with other partners to further develop outcomes measures software that can be utilized by any free and charitable clinic

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