Community Based Research Network: Opportunities for Coordination of Care, Public Health Surveillance, and Farmworker Research
Farm workers are a population which is frequently mobile, medically underserved, and exposed to occupational risks for injuries. Very little health and surveillance data is collected about this population, which is why a Community Based Research Network (CBRN) was created in order to transfer EHR data from Community and Migrant Health Centers (C/MHC) to a Health Information Exchange (HIE).
was transferred from five C/MHCs (located in Colorado, New York, Washington, California, and Michigan) into the CBRN. The HIE which was used to accomplish this transfer was Centex. A pilot study analyzing HbA1c data from the CBRN was conducted.
Results- The CBRN acquired data from 94,189 encounters, and 2,858 farmworkers (67,878 patients total). Data analysis suggested that HbA1c levels decreased with more frequent or intense testing.
The authors acknowledge that it was difficult to link events to specific patients from the data that was imported, and also that a small percentage of patients were farmworkers. They deduct that the small number of farmworkers might have been due to misclassification for billing or other purposes.
This project demonstrated that it is possible to create a surveillance database focused on farmworker health, using EHR. data from C/MHCs. The authors suggest that including data from federally qualified health centers would result in better capturing of farmworker health data.
This was a very interesting project because it focused on a very specific population of patients. Although it had many limitations, projects such as this one should be further developed in the future, so that medically underserved populations can be surveyed and served according to their needs.
- Cooper, S. P., Heyer, N., Shipp, E. M., Ryder, E. R., Hendrikson, E., Socias, C. M., … Partida, S. (2014). Community Based Research Network: Opportunities for Coordination of Care, Public Health Surveillance, and Farmworker Research. Online Journal of Public Health Informatics, 6(2), e190. http://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.ezproxyhost.library.tmc.edu/pmc/articles/PMC4221089/