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Demographics of the Patient Population of a Free Medical Clinic in Vancouver, Washington

1 August 2001


The Free Clinic ofSW Washington (FCSW) is a non-profit public charity. Their mission is ''to provide free, compassionate, quality medical care to children and adults who are otherwise unable to access health services." Medical care includes but is not inclusive to immunizations, head lice treatment, a medication clearinghouse, an emergency prescription program and other basic health care. FCS W medical services are provided by 200 professionals who volunteer their time throughout the year. Currently there is enough volunteer medical support to operate the clinic two evenings per week and starting 2002 operating an extra full day per week. Financially, FCSWis community-supported by donations from individuals, businesses, service organizations and small grants from local foundations. There is no federal or state funding, or direct support from agencies such as United Way.

When receiving donations and grants, some organizations are requesting profiles of patients demographics and/or statistics on types of illnesses and evidence of community support before making donations. The goal of this project was to produce an accurate year-by-year report profiling the patient demographics and illnesses treated at the clinic from 1998-2000. This was accomplished by a retrospective chart review, comparing the paper chart with a newly developed Access@ database program in which all the patient information was transferred into.

A systematic chart review for accuracy was the majority of the project's time. It resulted in 4,696 charts reviewed, with correction and addition of data that was missing completely. There was a year-by-year patient demographic reports generated for the years 1998-2000.


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