Improving Care for the Underserved through Better Technology

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Compassionate Care of Shelby County, Inc.
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

A Faith-Based health care center, respectfully providing quality care and hope to the underserved of Shelby County.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

No healthcare. This is the reality for many people who are uninsured. In Shelby County alone it has been estimated that 2,500-4,500 residents have no insurance (Small Area Health Insurance Estimates, 2005). Compounding this problem for many is their ineligibility for government assistance and a lack of sufficient income to pay out of pocket healthcare expenses. Shelby County has approximately 3,200 residents who are below the poverty level (Dept. of HHS, 2006) and 10,000 who are above it but still below 200% of the poverty level (American Fact Finder). For these families and individuals meeting their basic daily needs is a struggle and healthcare is an unaffordable luxury. As a result, chronic illnesses go untreated and preventative care does not happen. This not only leads to serious health issues for individuals but also creates a burden for hospitals which become the last and only recourse for people seeking care.

Compassionate Care of Shelby County is working to change this reality in our community. Since we opened on August 1, 2007 we have provided free medical care for Shelby County residents who are uninsured or underinsured and who are at or below the 200% poverty level. We are able to provide this care through the support of our community and the tireless efforts of our volunteer physicians, nurses, pharmacists, medical assistants, and office workers. We provide general healthcare including: diagnosing severe illnesses, helping patients manage chronic conditions, and conducting preventative screenings. We also assist our patients with their prescription needs through our on-site pharmacy and by applying for prescription assistance programs. If we were not providing these services for our patients many of them would be forced to simply go without care.

Before we received Microsoft products through TechSoup however, our ability to provide quality care to our patients was challenged by our lack of efficiency. Working with our old, completely donated equipment was difficult at best and our outdated server, which crashed on a regular basis, only made matters worse. With our new Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition we have been able to network all of our workstations; this has enabled us to access information and provide care much more efficiently and effectively. We have also been able to increase our efficiency by utilizing the Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007. With this software, we have created our own letterheads, forms, newsletters, annual reports, and Power Point presentations. Patient education materials have also been developed using this software enabling us to provide better care for our patients. Utilizing this software has not only saved us important financial resources but has made us more efficient by allowing us to create high quality materials quickly and as needed.

Our security and stability has also greatly increased after obtaining these Microsoft products. We have been able to insure the security of our electronically maintained medical records by storing them all in one secure server. Previously, we were forced to keep most of our records in a paper system due to the limitations of our technology in regards to memory and security. We are consequently tremendously more prepared to comply with the growing trend from the government requiring that all medical information be kept electronically. Without updated technology, achieving this goal would have been a hardship for any nonprofit organization like ours; however, now this goal is realistically within reach.

Receiving these Microsoft products through TechSoup has ultimately allowed us to pursue our mission of providing excellent care to the uninsured and underinsured members of our community by helping us increase our security and efficiency. This has freed us to focus on serving our community in other ways. We will soon be realizing this dream by opening a free dentistry clinic and we have plans for an optometry clinic in the near future as well. The Microsoft products we use give us the essential function of operating in this technologically advanced world we live in. Receiving this award would allow us to continue to do so in our new and future endeavors and it would further enable us to better serve our community.

Submission Category
Stable and Secure Technology