Finger Lakes Community Health (Penn Yan, New York).

PROJECT NAME: Point of Entry Project

Project Overview:

The Point of Entry project is focused on retention of the entry-level front line health care workforce members (receptionists, registration specialists, community health workers (“CHWs”), community outreach workers, etc.) who serve at the point of entry at community health centers. Specifically, this project aims to address current shortfalls in competency and career advancement training of front line health care staff charged with registering and facilitating access to care for vulnerable populations with a focus on migrant and seasonal farm workers, immigrant families, and the homeless. This project encompasses the design and pilot implementation of a three-pronged train-the-trainer curriculum covering the following core topics:

  • Understanding the intake process in the context of FQHC mission and requirements;
  • Cultural competence/population-appropriate communication; and
  • Executing intake procedures within PM/EHR Systems – Piloted among three C/MHCs using eClinicalworks.

Project Objectives:

The goal of the Point of Entry Project is to improve worker satisfaction among newly hired and incumbent entry-level front line staff by strengthening those core competencies necessary to respond successfully to the demands of their positions, thereby improving performance, increasing employee retention, and elevating the centers’ capacity to improve access to care and the patient experience for the special populations served.

Key Grant Activities:

In addition to the lead grantee, Finger Lakes Community Health,  this project included two other New York State centers, Oak Orchard Community Health Center (Brockport, N.Y.) , and Hudson River Health Care. (Hudson Valley & Long Island).  Along with the National Center for Farmworker Health (NCFH) and the Health Center Network of New York (HCNNY) the organizations collaborated to develop a best practices curriculum. This project encompassed the design and pilot implementation of a three-pronged train the-trainer curriculum covering the following:

  • Understanding the intake process in the context of FQHC mission and requirements;
  • Cultural competence/population-appropriate communication;
  • Executing intake procedures within PM/EHR Systems.

Each participating health center identified a site focused on care for special populations that served as the pilot for the provisions of training to front-line staff.

Project outcomes:

  • The determination of core competencies which will be integrated into job descriptions and performance evaluation tools;
  • The development of extensive training curricula to address core competencies;
  • Expanded training for new front-end staff and new clinical managers; and
  • Extension of the program to additional sites, including a new sites developed by the collaborating center.
  • Point-of-entry training was provided by NCFH and two HCNNY master trainers to 14 health center trainers and support staff at the three health centers using a “train the trainer” model.

About the Grantee:

Finger Lakes Community Health (FLCH) was founded in 1989 as a health care provider for agricultural workers. Today, FLCH provides comprehensive care for everyone, with eight health centers in New York State, including in Sodus, Port Byron, Geneva, Penn Yan, King Ferry, Bath, and Dundee. FLCH also administers one of 22 federal migrant voucher programs in the U.S. to provide health services to farm workers in 42 Upstate NY counties. Finger Lakes Community Health is part of the Federally Qualified Health Center system, which provides funds to assist uninsured patients.