Los Angeles County Launches Electronic Health Screening Program for the Homeless
Los Angeles County officials yesterday introduced computerized health screening stations for homeless people in the area, the Los Angeles Times reports. The pilot program, which will include stations at six downtown medical centers and homeless shelters, will allow patients to check their health, make doctor's appointments and access health information electronically. The health stations measure blood pressure, weight and heart rate and can gauge a person's health risks, the Times reports. Patients can create personal medical profiles, which they can access at any station. Once patients attend scheduled clinic visits, the computers print out coupons redeemable for meal tickets, prepaid phone cards and bus tokens. The kiosks provide access to local health and social service information, as well as drug and health education materials. Each station also has a phone, which allows health workers to consult with referral agencies and make doctor and counseling appointments for patients. Officials hope the pilot program will help identify the health needs of homeless people. The county's Office of AIDS Programs and Policy is funding the three-year, $975,000 project, which is sponsored by the JWCH Institute, a not-for-profit health agency. "It's a confidential, non-threatening way people at risk for a lot of diseases can get information they want and be comfortable enough to use it repeatedly," said Tracy Sullivan, director of marketing for Computerized Screening, which developed the stations (Rivera, Los Angeles Times, 6/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.