Patient Portal

DP - Case Study

Patient Portal Increases Communication Between Patients and Providers

Pawtucket and Central Falls, RI – Spring 2011
About Blackstone Valley Community Health Care (BVCHC)

BVCHC is a federally-qualified, Joint Commission-accredited health center located in Pawtucket and Central Falls, Rhode Island. Established in 1990, BVCHC provides a range of services, including pediatric, internal medicine, family medicine, midwifery and obstetrics/gynecology, dental, and behavioral health. BVCHC has six full-time and four part-time physicians, four physician extenders, six nurses, and 10 medical assistants. In 2010, BVCHC provided care to more than 11,000 patients.

Working with Rhode Island’s Regional Extension Center External Links Disclaimer

BVCHC serves as the home and support center for a network of health centers committed to advancing health IT in Rhode Island. Since the health center converted to electronic health records in 2007, BVCHC has supported several implementations by other practices and collaborates with the Rhode Island REC.

Electronic Health Record Implementation Highlights

In 2007, BVCHC converted to NextGen Electronic Medical and Dental Record Systems. BVCHC proceeded with creating a patient portal:

Acquiring an enterprise-level NextGen practice license that supports deploying the system in 100 practices on a common database
Facilitating the subsequent implementation of the NextGen Health Information Exchange (HIE) among other area practices also under the NextGen Umbrella to enhance continuity of care for patients and…

Read the entire case study at


1.  Would you feel comfortable communicating with your healthcare providers via email through the patient portal?  Why or why not?

2.  After implementation of the patient portal, traffic was describes as “modest”.  What suggestions do you have for the BVCHC in regards to increasing patient usage of the portal?

3.  Do you think that usage of the portal will increase over time?  Why?

4.  What roles do you think an HIT professional employed in this system could assume?

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