From training to employment how community health workers can meet tomorrows healthcare needs today
After completing a comprehensive literature search it was found there is no standardization for the role or education of a community health worker. Temple University Health System and its training partners set up a four week, full time, well-defined curriculum that contained both didactic and hands on learning. After a rigorous evaluation, 34 successful candidates were awarded a certificate from Temple University. The community health workers were employed by primary care, specialty practices, various health systems and emergency departments in Philadelphia, PA. The community health workers were primarily assigned to patients who presented to the emergency department or were admitted to the hospital at least 4 times during the prior 12 months. Intervention: Each community health worker is assigned to an RN or navigator who functions in a supervisory role. The community health worker functions as a low cost intervention for decreasing inappropriate health care utilization and acts as a liaison between these high cost, high-risk patients and the healthcare system. They make home visits, accompany patients to doctors' appointments, and help coordinate access to resources for both medical and social needs. Metrics used to measure success are a decrease in inappropriate ED visits and hospital readmissions and compliance with primary care office visits. An extensive data base is being assembled and initial findings show positive results when the community health care worker is made part of the health care team. Financing for these workers was through the Medicaid managed care organizations or the individual health systems.
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Explain the role a community health worker can play in decreasing the cost of health care.
Keyword(s): Healthcare Costs, Community Health
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Project Manager of the Community Health Worker Program and have been instrumental in all aspects of the program. Among my main interests is the ability to creat a self sustaining model and showing a return on investment for this work.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.