A driving force for health equity

OCHIN Offers Epic Members Free Implementation Support for Participating in ASCEND Project

By Katie Dambrun, Research Associate

The Approaches to CHC Implementation of SDH Data Collection and Action (ASCEND) project is offering free implementation support for OCHIN member clinics to collect and document information on their patients’ social determinants of health (SDH) in Epic, and to take action to address identified SDH needs. SDH are the contextual factors of patients’ lives – such as housing or food insecurity, social isolation, etc. – that profoundly impact patients’ health, health risks, and ability to act on care recommendations.  In many cases, addressing SDH can be as important to patients’ health as addressing medical needs. Because of this, the National Academy of Medicine, the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, the Centers for Medicaid Services 2016 Quality Strategy, and the Office of the National Coordinator on Health Information Technology (among other national leaders), recommend that SDH data be systematically documented in EHRs to help care teams integrate patients’ social and medical needs. 

Over the next three years, ASCEND will provide 30 clinics (five at a time) with six months of in-depth guidance and step-by-step support in integrating SDH data collection and action-taking to address SDH needs into their workflows. OCHIN staff will provide technical assistance in the areas of EHR tool use, workflows, tracking and running reports, and more. This rich support will be tailored to each clinic’s specific needs! 

We are looking for clinics who:


Fifteen clinics will be participating in the first wave of implementation support over the coming year. If you are interested in having your CHC participate, recruitment for the second wave will take place through November 2019. ASCEND is a five-year study (September 2017 – August 2022) funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and is a partnership between OCHIN, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, and Oregon Health and Science University Department of Family Medicine.  If interested in participating or to find out more, please contact Katie Dambrun (dambrunk@ochin.org).