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LTHC launches electronic database to keep track of healthcare needs of people experiencing homelessness

LTHC launches electronic database to keep track of healthcare services for homeless (WBAA News/Ben Thorp)

In the spring, LTHC was one of nine shelters across the country to receive grant funding for its effort to provide transitional medical care for people well enough to leave the hospital but too sick to remain on the street or in a traditional shelter.

LTHC Homeless Services in Lafayette is launching a healthcare database in order to keep track of the medical needs of people moving through the organization.

The organization, previously known as Lafayette Transitional Housing Center, annually serves around 1,800 people and will often host the local health department to provide on-site medical care.

Jennifer Layton is the executive director of LTHC. She said it became clear that LTHC needed to keep a record of what kinds of care guests had accessed.

“If someone is doing blood pressure checks and we notice that one of our guests has high blood pressure there’s no place to document that so the next provider that comes in and does a blood pressure check - they don’t know what we’ve already done. It was a real disconnect and a disservice for our people,” she said.

Layton said the records could also be used to help inform emergency care for guests who end up hospitalized.

“We are really interested in figuring out how to provide continuity of care,” she said. “Ultimately people’s healthcare is a very big deal, especially for people that have no housing. How do we make that a smoother system for them?”

Layton said she doesn’t know how many other shelters keep track of medical information for guests.