Submission Type

Case Study


Health Information Technology; Sustainability; Governance; Beacon Community; Partnership Building; System of care;


Introduction: In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, much of New Orleans’ healthcare infrastructure was destroyed. Initial federal funding after the storm expanded primary care services and helped set up medical homes for New Orleans’ large uninsured and underinsured population. Following that, the Beacon Community in New Orleans, charged with improving health care through the use of technology, decided the best way to accomplish those goals was to build community partnerships and introduce technology improvements based on their input and on their terms. The purpose of this paper is to describe how those partnerships were wrought, including the innovative use of a conceptual framework, and how they are being sustained; how different technologies were and are being introduced; and what the results have been so far.

Methods: Past successful community experiences, as well as a proven conceptual framework, were used to help establish community partnerships and governance structures, as well as to demonstrate their linkages. This paper represents a compilation of reports and information from key Beacon leaders, staff and providers and their firsthand experiences in setting up those structures, as well as their conclusions.

Results: The community partnerships proved extremely successful in not only devising successful ways to introduce new technology into healthcare settings, but in sustaining those changes by creating a governance structure that has enough fluidity to adapt to changing circumstances.

Conclusions: Building and developing community partnerships takes time and effort; however, these relationships are necessary and essential to introducing and sustaining new technologies in a healthcare setting and should be a first step for any organization looking to accomplish such goals.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.