Monthly Update
 August 2014
CCC Board of Directors Meeting Dates:

 All Board meetings will be held at 2:00pm at 1111 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin, TX 78702 and can be changed or added as needed.

  • September 9, 2014 
  • October 14, 2014  
All meetings of the Board of Managers of Central Health and the Board of the CCC are open to the public. 


One of two monthly meetings of the BOM of Central Health is streamed live. Audio of Central Health Board meetings is available on 


  * The BOM of Central Health must approve budgets of the CCC in an open meeting.

:: 512-978-8164

Contact: Mark Hernandez
A Note from the CMO  
Mark Hernandez, MD
Chief Medical Officer


I hope everyone has had a great summer. As we wind down the hot sunny days and (hopefully) begin to enjoy a little cooler climate, I find that there is a lot to talk to you about regarding the CCC. First, this month's newsletter will help bring everyone up to speed on developments regarding the creation of improved health information technology. I am very excited about what is possible in this space, and I think you will be as well. Next, I wanted to announce the appointment of Dr. Ted Held (Ob-Gyn) as the associate Chief Medical Officer of the CCC. His leadership in the areas of Women's Health, Health Promotion and Measurement & Evaluation will be crucial in us developing robust, innovative strategies for healthcare delivery. Thanks Ted! And last but certainly not least, I am incredibly happy to announce that the CCC has met its volume milestone in our Gastroenterology DSRIP project! I am very grateful to all who helped in the performance of this project, there are too many to name here, but we will be sending a separate communication that will provide more detail to our performance, and the team members soon. The CCC continues to drive towards the vision of improved outcomes, better experience of care, and decreased costs, and you remain an important participant in our work.


                    -- Mark

Team Introduction - The CCC IT Team



Health care providers rely on a variety of electronic health record (EHR) software systems in their daily work. Examples of these electronic systems include: clinical records systems, claims databases, eligibility systems, patient engagement and navigation software, decision support, and alert systems. Although these systems were designed to assist in documenting patient care and related services, the immaturity of these systems can hamper efficiency. 


The CCC's IT team is working to drive improvement in the areas of data exchange (making it more complete, moving it faster, and putting the right data where it is needed), governance and security (making it legal and safe), encouraging collaboration amongst the geeks, building new systems where there are gaps, and helping to improve existing systems.


What We're Doing

During DSRIP Demonstration Year (DY) 3, our focus was on analyzing the current state of our network HER because you can't glue together pieces you don't understand, and completing a thorough as-is inventory. This included a review of CCC providers' EHRs to ascertain which systems are in use, what data is being collected, and what is and is not working. We also worked to understand existing community investments in health care IT.


As we move into DY4, we are solidifying the core of our internal team as we move from a part-time contract staff to a fully-functioning team who will define detailed project plans for key pilot projects. A few highlights of this work are:


  • The OHCA: If we want the patient to have "no wrong door" access to care - we need the data to flow more easily. To do this, the CCC is defining an Organized Healthcare Arrangement (OHCA) - which will allow us to more easily share health information among all CCC participants.
  • CCC Warehouse: The CCC plans to build a data warehouse to house a variety of data, provide dashboards to our DSRIP team, and help the CCC understand the big picture of what's happening. This is a core foundation system that we will build reporting, analytics, and decision support functions on top of.
  • One Button: Care teams need a simple way to see what the entire network knows about a patient... as easy as clicking one button. The data needs to be accurate - it needs to be inserted in the clinical workflow when the care team needs it - and the whole package needs to be usableand timely. We are working on the first phase of this project, which will focus on getting the answer to a key question in the hands of our primary care providers: "Was my patient in the Seton Emergency Room last night? If so, tell me what happened."  Once that question can be answered, we will incrementally improve data exchange functionality.
  • Collaborative Care Plan: Every provider has their own approach to care planning, but no member of the overall care team has a holistic view of the big picture neither the individual plans integrated together. Our first step is to get each CCC provider team to push their care plans to the community HIE and obtain consensus from these teams on what the aggregate care plan should look and feel like.


In addition to pushing out new systems and innovations, we also plan to work within the CCC clinical workgroups to flesh out the requirements for a wide variety of projects - initially we are focused in moving in baby-steps and building out high-quality "plumbing" - meaning getting the data foundation improved so we can build new systems down the road. 

Leader Spotlight


The Team & Our Home

Like all teams in the CCC, our internal staff members collaborate with many external partners - we are facilitators and guides - we cannot do anything alone. These partners include IT staff from CCC participants, contracted technology vendors, and core partners - particularly our friends at the Integrated Care Collaboration (ICC). Today we are highlighting our key team members that will define projects and scope - who are:


  • Edward O'Connor - Chief Information Officer -Edward has a strong background in technology strategy, information security, software architecture, and team leadership.
  • Emily Hafner - Director of Healthcare IT - Emily is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who found her way into IT as EHR systems rolled out to her clinic site. She quickly became a power user and clinical representative, and worked as a senior EHR trainer and informatics expert before coming to the CCC last month. Emily's focus is to represent the voice of the care team and make sure everything we do is usable and valuable to practitioners in the real world (no software for software's sake!)
  • Preeti Ahluwalia - Senior Business Analyst - Preeti is a seasoned expert in defining software requirements, and specifically making sure that we get what we ask for. She has over 10 years experience in IT before joining the CCC last month, and her focus on the team is to represent the voice of the developer - ensuring that no software is written until we lay out what we want in terms that are actionable and realistic.
  • Sandy Coe Simmons - Senior Project Manager - Sandy has over 25 years of experience in data systems and policy analysis for healthcare at the state and local level, including Central Health and the ICC. She currently splits her time between the CCC and the communications and planning teams, and works on a variety of projects across the CCC in addition to IT. In addition to being a stellar project manager and taking on key IT projects, Sandy also acts as a guide to the team and is an expert in existing systems/processes.
  • UX Architect - We have one vacant position on the team, for a User Experience (UX) Architect/Designer. One thing we have heard (often loudly!) is that healthcare technology is simply painful to use. We believe we can improve that by having someone that focuses on user requirements and up-front prototyping before software is created/selected - and then uses structured user testing to make sure we know what will work, with far less guesswork.

Stay tuned for updates on what our new IT team is doing in future newsletters, including snippets on key milestones and highlights of our various workstreams. 

Update on Southeast Health and Wellness Center


Construction of the new Southeast Health and Wellness Center is well underway on the inside of the facility, and we are looking forward to opening Phase 1 of the facility this fall.  We encourage you to periodically check the Central Health website ( for more updates or sign up through the Latino HealthCare Forum to receive progress and upcoming events by clicking here.


Photo galleries of site construction since March 2014 can be viewed by clicking  here.