The Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation in Dallas has announced a $12 million grant from the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation to pioneer an electronic information exchange that connects the center with local social service agencies, the Dallas Morning News reports.
When completed, the Dallas Information Exchange Portal will link a dozen community-based agencies to the medical records of patients who have agreed to participate in the program, enabling them to better monitor patients' health and keep them healthy. The groups also will serve as a support system for patients who in many cases are without family or friends, including those who are homeless, low-income, recently released from jail, or living alone. Parkland, a nonprofit organization that specializes in real-time predictive and surveillance analytics for health care, expects the portal to positively affect half a million people locally within five years, as well as save a few thousand lives. "We're not here to play doctor, but we can provide valuable information to Parkland without the client having to go there," said the Rev. Jay Cole, director of Crossroads Community Services, which provides nutritional support to low-income families in the region.
In 2010, the Parkland received a $1 million from the Caruth Foundation, which is administered by the Communities Foundation of Texas, to pilot the program. The latest grant from the foundation will support the initiative through 2018, at which point an additional $15 million will be needed to sustain it for five more years. The portal is expected to garner national attention once it is launched. "It has the potential to improve the quality of life for people across the Dallas community and, eventually, the entire country," said Communities Foundation of Texas CEO Brent E. Christopher.