September 24th, 2022

OPCA-Annual-Awards-2022-CHC-ValueCHC Value Award

Anirudh Padmala, Deputy Director and Strategy Officer, Multnomah County CHC

Anirudh Padmala, Deputy Director and Strategy Officer at Multnomah County Health Center, was nominated for the CHC Value Award for extraordinary efforts in striving towards the achievement of the CHC value through data, measurement, and research.

Coordination and transparent communication are two of the hallmarks of high performing clinical care teams. For Community Health Centers, these attributes make an even bigger difference when coordinating with social service agencies, wrap around care, and broader healthcare and hospital systems. To continue to build and improve on the challenge of accessing quick information about patients and populations, the Multnomah County Health Center went through an extraordinary data access transformation process in 2021 to address how quickly our clinical teams and managers were able to make decisions on COVID19 responses.

Previously, reports on selected patients, locations, and conditions were run on a weekly or daily basis and generated standardized reports by location and team. While this allows for snapshots of health status for some patient populations, it was difficult to compare trends or changes in disease progression. Furthermore, it was a resource heavy process anytime a clinical team needed to develop or investigate specific questions about changes in populations over time. In his role as the Health Center Information Officer, Anirudh Padmala recognized the burden to staff and risk that this process led to for care teams. As part of his vision for excellence in communication and collaboration between all service areas and staff, his team began an immediate overhaul of COVID19 reporting and dashboard management. The effort and results of this work have led to value beyond the original scope of work: today, teams can pull up point in time and long-term trends in COVID19 cases and vaccinations to immediately inform staffing decisions and collaborations with public health agencies. This was especially important during decisions on booster outreach and language services.

“Anirudh’s work and leadership in this arena truly demonstrates the value of Community Health Centers – by leveraging new tools and infrastructure, we have more information and data available to share both with external groups about the outcomes of FQHCs and are able to give staff more direct power and opportunities to engage with data.”

-Adrienne Daniels, Interim Director, Multnomah County Health Department

One extraordinary example of this approach includes the Health Center’s response and outreach to non-English speaking communities and access by pharmacies. When considering expansion of COVID19 vaccine services and outreach, Anirudh’s team was able to quickly generate and sustain “heatmaps” of where access by zip code from patient populations remained highly saturated vs. low access. This then allowed our pharmacy team to staff and adjust vaccine access by geographic location and outreach to focus on areas with lower access, without duplicating vaccines services already available in primary care settings.

This approach has been so successful, his team is working to expand dashboard infrastructure to multiple areas of clinic services. Today, more than 50 analytic dashboards are in use covering medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, finance and compliance programs.

–Submission made by Adrienne Daniels, Interim Director, Multnomah County Health Department