San Diego Health Connect began as the San Diego Beacon Community—an effort to improve healthcare in the San Diego community spearheaded by the University of California. In April 2010, UC San Diego received a $15.3 million Beacon cooperative agreement from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) on behalf of the community. One of only 17 Beacon grant awardees in the United States, the San Diego Beacon Community was tasked with:
- Building and strengthening local health information technology infrastructure.
- Implementing new approaches for making measurable improvements in the cost and quality of health care.
Partners In The Community:
- The Council of Community Clinics
- County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency
- The Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties
- San Diego County Medical Society
- San Diego Fire-Rescue Department
Community Investment in Health Information Exchange
As its main technology investment, San Diego Beacon Community created a health information exchange (HIE). The HIE:
- Helps providers make more informed care decisions
- Improves coordination of care
- Reduces unnecessary treatments and redundant testing
The HIE quickly secured the participation of the major health systems in San Diego. And the number of participants continues to grow. In early 2013, UC San Diego transferred operational and oversight responsibility for the HIE to San Diego Health Connect—an independent, non-profit 501c3 organization.
Building on the Beacon Foundation
San Diego Health Connect is taking the Beacon-built HIE into the future. The Beacon grant gave the San Diego community a jumpstart for implementing HIE to improve health care quality and efficiency. Because of this foundation, we are further ahead than most HIEs in our development and technological sophistication. This means that our solution can deliver tangible benefits quickly to participating members.