Improving Quality of Care for Older Adults in Missouri

Topic(s): Health Care Quality, Health Care Costs, Patient Safety
Geographic Location: Missouri
Health Center: Ozarks Community Health Center (Ozarks Resource Group)
Date Posted: August 2018

Improving Quality of Care at Health Centers

Ozarks Community Health Center (OCHC) in Missouri served 7,775 patients in 2016 and has a large population of older adults. Over the past few years, up to 30 percent of their patients were 65 years of age or older. OCHC has been awarded Health Center Quality Improvement Awards (QIA) since 2014, which demonstrates its ongoing commitment to improving quality care in the communities it serves.

In 2014, OCHC received $29,090 in QIA funding and purchased a new x-ray machine with an adjustable x-ray table primarily for its elderly population. Scott Crouch, Chief Executive Officer of OCHC, describes his appreciation for receiving the QIA: “The timing couldn’t have been better as we were using an old x-ray exam table and equipment. No longer would the elderly patients have to get on a step stool to climb on a table for an x-ray.”

In 2015, OCHC was awarded a new access point in rural Urbana, Missouri and was also awarded $155,127 in QIA funding. This funding allowed OCHC to purchase a similar adjustable table with a digital imaging x-ray machine. By utilizing this new technology, patients received more timely results with a fraction of the radiation. “Here we are in rural Missouri with great technology and to cap it off, we have integrated with the local hospital and x-rays are automatically sent to a radiologist for over-read” exclaims Crouch.

OCHC also purchased a 2-D panoramic x-ray machine for dental operations in 2015. The machine not only provides better imaging with less radiation to patients, but also allows clinicians to find anomalies that typical periapical and bitewing films may not have captured. Since installing the machine, several cases of bone abnormalities caused by growths have been detected and referred to the appropriate specialist for consultation. “The funding and support has made a difference in how we serve our communities”, says Crouch, “and the patients are the ones that benefit from this amazing opportunity -- our desire is to always provide quality care.”

Today the quality improvement effort remains a priority as a total of $146,412 QIA funds were awarded in 2016 and 2017. These awards enabled OCHC to purchase a device that enables clinicians to see several patients in wheelchairs at this location in a more efficient manner. A patient can remain seated in their wheelchair while receiving professional services. Crouch is thankful for the QIAs that have supported these quality improvement efforts and claims that “the funds have been truly helpful!” For more information about OCHC and their quality improvement initiatives, contact Scott Crouch at 417-745-2121.

Date Last Reviewed:  October 2018