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A Short History of the Medical Home Portal

Development of the Medical Home Portal began as part of a Medical Home implementation project, led by Fan Tait, MD, in 2001. The concept was initially stimulated by a 1998 survey of pediatricians in Utah that identified the top three needs to enable them to improve their care of children with chronic conditions to be:
  • better knowledge of local resources for their care,
  • practice-based case managers to link families and resources, and
  • best practice guidelines for common chronic conditions in children.
In response, our Utah Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (of which Dr. Tait was President) published a resource booklet, but much of the information was soon outdated. To meet the 1st and 3rd needs identified by the survey and to implement components of the Medical Home project, we decided that a web-based information resource would work best.

Start-up funding was provided by the Primary Children's Hospital Foundation, which allowed us to hire student programmers and begin creating the Portal. The University of Utah's Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library provided a home for the programmer as well as staff of the Knowledge Weavers, who were expert in developing web-based resources to support medical education and designed the first iteration of what was then called the MedHome Portal (2006). Project leadership and medical expertise have been provided by the University's Department of Pediatrics and the Utah Department of Health (UDOH). In 2003, the UDOH's Division of Community and Family Health Services supported the project, enabling us to hire a full-time programmer and to make substantial progress toward becoming a well-designed and useful resource.

In 2006, we received the above-mentioned grant from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), which enabled us to hire a full-time programmer and to redesign the Portal completely (Medical Home Portal (2011)). The redesign included the ability to substitute the database of Utah service providers with those from other states. In 2009, the NLM funding was extended with a supplemental grant that was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

In February 2010, the Portal began 5 years of support as a key component of the Children’s Healthcare Improvement Collaboration (CHIC) based in the Utah and Idaho Medicaid and CHIP programs and funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) through a Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) Quality Demonstrations Grant, #1Z0C30547-01-00 (2/2010-2/2015), which continued for another year through a no-cost extension.
In February 2015, the Portal unveiled a completely redesigned site aimed to make its content easier to read and navigate on any device and to make its resources easier to find. The Portal served as the “shared resource” for Utah under the Utah Enhanced System for CYSHCN, a project of the Utah Bureau of Children with Special Health Care Needs funded by the State Implementation Grants for Enhancing the System of Services for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs through Systems Integration (D70MC275500100) from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)/Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). Portal staff are heavily involved in the Utah Children's Care Coordination Network (UCCCN), which was established under the same project.
In September of 2017, the Portal was included as a key component of the Pediatric Patient Summary-Medical Home Portal Project(PPS-MHP), through the Utah Medicaid program with funds allocated by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009. The PPS-MHP project is a collaboration among the Portal, the Department of Biomedical Informatics, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH), the Utah Health Information Network (UHIN), and Intermountain Healthcare.

Authors

Author: Chuck Norlin, MD - 1/2018
Content Last Updated: 1/2018