Implementation of Health Improvement Collaboration in Cherokee County, OK (Oklahoma)


This project implemented a HIPAA compliant approach (Health IT Electronic Records System and a Central Access Point of Entry for community members) to the selection of a common set of patient health data that can be transferred electronically between community health care providers, resulting in an array of positive operational and secondary outcomes to community health networks. The implementation project had several distinct outcomes related to the intent to implement the project: improve patient safety; treat multiple problems in a coordinated manner; build relationships between providers; encourage and track referrals between separately owned entities; get better and more frequent feedback on referrals; improve ability to treat pandemic outbreaks and bioterrorism; increase availability of multiple providers utilizing a coordinated approach for public ease of access; develop common medical terminology between providers; lower operational costs through coordinated efforts; improve legibility; improve agency and individual provider productivity levels; encourage physicians and other providers to communicate more frequently; increase ability to analyze patient service use patterns between providers; increase ability to track disease and risk behaviors across the community on a real time basis; and increase the setting of common health goals and activities of providers. Project sponsors and partners include: Tahlequah City Hospital, Cherokee Nation Health Services, Cherokee County Health Department, Bill Willis Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Center, Hastings Indian Hospital, Northeast Oklahoma Community Health Center, and the Northeast State University. The primary goals were: 1) Implement an Electronic Health Information System among seven agencies; 2) Implement a Web-based 24/7 Information and Referral Service that includes back-up 24/7 telephone service; and 3) Implement a Community wide science-based prevention strategy that is supported by community-based health IT data systems.

Grant Number: 
UC1 HS016131
Funding Mechanism: 
Limited Competition for AHRQ Transforming Healthcare Quality Through Information Technology - Implementation Grants
AHRQ Funded Amount: 
Principal Investigator: 
Jones, Mark
Tahlequah City Hospital
Project Dates: 
September 30, 2005 to September 29, 2008
Project Status: 

Project Categories

Type of Health Information Technology: 
Health Information Exchange (HIE)/Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO)
Care Setting: 
Community Health Center
Emergency Department (ED)/Emergency Room (ER)
Health Department
Aspect of Care: 
Protected Health Information Data Sharing
Target Population: 
Chronic Care
Coronary Artery Disease
Hyperlipidemia (HL)
Mental Health/Depression
Racial/Ethnic Minorities
Rural Health
Last Modified: August 2015

News and Publications

Jones, M. Implementation of Health Improvement Collaboration in Cherokee County, Oklahoma - Final Report. (Prepared by Tahlequah City Hospital under Grant No. UC1 HS016131). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2008. (PDF, 114.4 KB)
The findings and conclusions in this document are those of the author(s), who are responsible for its content, and do not necessarily represent the views of AHRQ. No statement in this report should be construed as an official position of AHRQ or of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Project Activities