Eric Bringas and Joel San Juan - Operation Samahan
IT/Billing Department & Executive Director
Speaking Topic: Open Source in an FQHC (Federally Qualified Healthcare Center) Setting

Mr. Bringas is an electronic and communications engineer and has more 15 years experience in computer communications and 6 years experience in Health Information Technology (HIT). He joined Operation Samahan in 2000 when it started to use a computerized practice management system. Mr. Bringas heads the IT Department and also oversees the billing operations. Knowing both IT and billing, he fully understands the overall operational and strategic needs of the company. A strong open source technology advocate, Mr. Bringas led the planning and implementation of different open source-based IT projects including the shift from a proprietary Practice Management System to open source ClearHealth. He is often sought out by other clinics in San Diego to help in their billing, reporting and IT needs.

Joel San Juan has been Executive Director since November 1989 of Operation Samahan Community Clinic, an FQHC Look-Alike. He has been studying the socio-economic and human factors surrounding the development and implementation of open-source IT in nonprofit community clinics and other CBOs. He believes that open source IT offers reliable and affordable ways to meet the IT needs of nonprofits.

Being an FQHC Look-Alike, Operation Samahan exemplifies the challenges and complexity of the interface between community clinics and government and other entities in our huge and ever-changing health care system. Navigating this complexity calls for reliable, affordable and interoperable systems for transmitting vital and confidential information. We will show how we are managing and shaping this complex process through the design and implementation of open source IT.
  • IT is a process technology, and its implementation inevitably changes the very process of health care delivery. Conversely, health care delivery shapes and reshapes IT design and development. Open source IT is highly flexible, controllable and adaptable to the health care delivery workflow, and vice-versa. We will discuss how this is done.
  • The design, implementation, maintenance and ongoing upgrades of health care IT systems require massive amounts of resources that nonprofit community clinics do not have. Open source IT is our solution for this quandary. We will show how it is done.
  • The billing process is the bloodline of an FQHC. We will describe in detail the use of ClearHealth, our open source IT system, in FQHC and other billing.
  • How to use ClearHealth for reporting to Federal, State and other Funders; how to meet the ongoing challenges of designing, redesigning, implementing, maintaining and upgrading open source ClearHealth; and expanding the system to include other components such as the EMR, Case Management and Messaging Capability for collaboration and information exchange.

Listen Now! [.mp3]