Research and Innovation
In order to practice primary care, we have an obligation to improve primary care. That’s why we pursue research and innovation here at the Community Health Center. We look at new technologies – from expanding our electronic health records to expanding our use of digital cameras that can take pictures of a patient’s retina. In 2006, we were one of the first practices in the country to begin moving to electronic health records. In 2009, we bought our first retinal camera to bring this important screening to patients with diabetes who might not otherwise have access to it.
Our Weitzman Center for Innovation, the first community-based research center established by a federally-qualified health center network, is the research and development arm of CHC. The center tests promising innovations in primary care delivery, and establishes research priorities for CHC. The Weitzman Center sponsors the annual Weitzman Symposium at Wesleyan University. Each symposium brings together leaders who share their work in innovations in community health and primary care.
At CHC, we practice a scheduling system called advanced access, which means a patient sees a provider as soon as possible – sometimes as a same-day appointment. And a patient rarely has to wait more than two days beyond the initial call to see a provider.
Our research and innovations are designed to help everyone at CHC, but particularly the patient—which, we think, is how it should be.