Online Program

Community Health Workers and Mobile Technology: Improving the Follow-Up Continuum through Case Management and Unique Identifiers in Vulnerable Populations along the Texas-Mexico Border

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.

Irwin Mendoza, MPH, MHP Salud, Weslaco, TX
Ashley Martin, MPH, Strategy and Analytics, MHP Salud, Bradenton, FL
Colleen Reinert, MPH, MHP Salud, Bradenton, FL
Background: The Texas-Mexico border region is home to thousands of underserved Hispanics who face unique barriers to accessing medical services. Many of these individuals live in colonias, residential areas along the border that lack some of the most basic living necessities such as potable water, sewage systems, electricity, paved roads, and sanitary housing. CHWs provide door-to-door outreach in a culturally appropriate manner in order to help these individual access benefits or services in their area. By using a mobile application on their smart phone, CHWs can collect data remotely, and then provide follow up services through a case management system.

Methods: Data were collected from CHWs serving 3 counties along the southernmost tip of the Texas-Mexico border. Demographic information, application type, follow-up rates, and application outcome data from October 2014 to present will be presented.

Results: Over 500 applications have been submitted with 43% of individuals receiving benefits and services. The follow up rate for individuals who submitted applications was 80%. The most commonly requested services include food stamps, 36.86%, and Medicaid, 30.38%. Applicants were predominantly female (96%), Hispanic (99%), and over 86% reported an income lower than $20,000 per year.

Conclusions: These vulnerable populations require unique assistance and face many barriers to accessing care. The ability to provide follow-ups and track applicant information has been crucial to the success of the program. Through innovative mobile technology, CHWs are able to provide extended follow-ups in a case management setting to underserved Hispanics along the Texas-Mexico border.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the effectiveness of using a mobile app to increase rate of follow ups Assess the relationship between follow up outcome and demographic data Explain the role of CHWs and their capacity in a case management setting

Keyword(s): Community Health Workers and Promoters, Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I received my Master’s in Public Health concentrating in Epidemiology at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, and became certified as a public health professional through the National Board of Public Health Examiners. I’m currently working for MHP Salud as their Research, Evaluation, and Technology Analyst.
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.