INSYNC: Enhancing Community Health in Iowa Through Technology and Data Sharing

January 17, 2023

We continue to see our healthcare system evolve to increasingly focus on value of care provided instead of volume of patients being seen. As part of this evolution, the role of robust health information technology is key to helping providers achieve health equity and improve patient outcomes at a lower cost to the overall system.

As we continue our evolution to provide the best care possible and to respond to the ever-changing healthcare system, eleven of Iowa’s community health centers are collectively implementing the OCHIN Epic electronic health record (EHR) in 2023. This project will be managed by INConcertCare (INCC), a sister organization of the Iowa Primary Care Association, in collaboration with OCHIN, a nonprofit leader in equitable healthcare innovation and a trusted solutions partner, offering integrated support to a wide range of community-based providers for more than 20 years. This nearly statewide collaboration is a new, unique national model, providing a centralized, top of class EHR solution to connect community health centers in both rural and urban areas of the state.

“This move will enhance how Iowa’s community health centers and our integrated network connect with other systems, share data, make informed decisions, and collaborate with other partners. In short, we will amplify our collective impact,” said Aaron Todd, CEO of the Iowa Primary Care Association, INCC, and IowaHealth+.  “As we collectively work toward achieving our vision of health equity for all, having robust data at our fingertips will help power our work to maximize patient outcomes and reduce overall costs to the healthcare system.”

Through the INCC network, these 11 Iowa community health centers will scale resources to support an integrated care system. At community health centers, patients can access comprehensive and integrated medical, oral health, behavioral health, and pharmacy services, often under one roof.

“This integrated EHR platform is going to positively impact the way our network provides care, allowing for enhanced patient care coordination and data aggregation,” said Renae Kruckenberg, INCC Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Community Health Center of Fort Dodge. “This collaborative effort will allow for centralized learning and standardization of workflows that enable and facilitate the move to value-based care, scalability, and cost effectiveness of a myriad of services.”

The new technology will also empower our patients. By putting powerful, robust tools into the hands of patients, we will provide them with significantly improved access to their own health information, helping them to stay in contact with their care teams and to make the best healthcare decisions they can for themselves.

“As a clinician, I am thrilled to have a statewide EHR solution that will allow myself and my peers the ability to further facilitate better coordinated care. It’s exciting to know our often under-resourced patients will now have access to a system that enhances patient empowerment,” said Dr. Sharon Duclos, INCC Clinical Board Representative and Co-Medical Director of Peoples Community Health Clinic based in Waterloo.

The collaboration between the community health centers, INCC, and OCHIN supports integrated technology for integrated care in an integrated network.

“We are honored to join forces with the Iowa PCA and INConcertCare to expand care access and positively impact lives through the collective knowledge and expertise of all three organizations,” said Abby Sears, CEO and president of OCHIN. “By working together to connect and strengthen the health care network in Iowa, we can ensure more equitable access to primary care for the long-term.” 

The eleven community health centers include:

Screenshot 2023 01 17 143801Iowa's Community Health Centers Implementing Epic in 2023

INConcertCare (INCC) provides support to Iowa’s community health centers on optimizing the use of health information technology (HIT). INCC is a sister organization of the Iowa Primary Care Association and IowaHealth+, focused on our vision of health equity for all and our mission of enhancing community health centers’ capacity to care. By using data analytics and population health management, health centers are coordinating resources and analyzing data to build stronger partnerships with payors and other organizations to help eliminate fragmented care. Learn more at OCHIN is a nonprofit leader in equitable healthcare innovation and a trusted partner to a growing national provider network. With the largest collection of community health data in the country and more than two decades of practice-based research and solutions expertise, OCHIN provides the clinical insights and tailored technologies needed to expand patient access, connect and augment care teams, and improve the health of systemically under-resourced communities. Learn more at