Conncecting families to needed resources in an era of health reform
Background: Equitable access to services without excessive burden to individuals or groups is a major barrier for Public Health practice. Providing quality services is only one part to the healthcare puzzle; dissemination and equal accessibility is a second challenge. Individuals applying to health and social services programs typically must complete multiple applications and wait a substantial amount of time to gain access; the lengthy process of completing duplicative sets of paperwork serves as an entry point as well as a barrier to reaching needed services. Purpose: New web-based front-end applications offer a promising solution by interfacing with state and local foundations to facilitate screening and referral to social services agencies. One-e-App is an example of a state approved web-based application that is currently used in four States, including California. In California it is being utilized in fourteen counties and by fifteen organizations, which include hospitals, clinics, school districts, health plans, and community-based organizations. Methods: Health and social service application data collected by the Children's Health Initiative of Orange County (CHI-OC) using One-e-App were compared with data previously collected by the same organization using the traditional manual applications process. Results: Results show that following implementation of One-e-App, the number of applications processed by CHI-OC more than doubled. In 2007, in a six-month period from July to December, CHI-OC processed 1,489 applications using traditional paper applications, compared to the same period in 2008, when they processed 3,802 applications using One-e-App. Conclusion: Emerging technologies can be applied to help improve client access to needed services. Increased organizational capacity to facilitate client access is even more important during times of economic down, when service needs rise. Maintenance fees and funding to integrate additional programs are the primary limitation of such applications.
Administration, management, leadership
Public health or related public policy
Identify key barriers to access of health care services. Understand how the manual application and eligibility for services works and how it magnifies the accessibility problem.Recognize the benefits of web-based applications and understand how their proper use can increase access to services.
Keyword(s): Access and Services, Social Services
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal author of this particular project. My career goal is to focus in the area of eliminating health disparities and advocate for the power of prevention by utilizing education, technology, and community empowerment.
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.