Online Program

Creating Systems Change to Improve Patient Outcomes through Collaboration: From Community-based Health Intervention to Health Care System Implementation and Policy Change

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 11:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Julie Kuhn, M.S.W., Sinai Urban Health Institute, Sinai Health System, Chicago, IL
Jamie Campbell, MPH, Sinai Urban Health Institute, Sinai Health System, Chicago, IL
Melissa Gutierrez Kapheim, MS, Sinai Urban Health Institute, Sinai Health System, Chicago, IL
Carrie Nelson, MD, MS, FAAFP, Advocate Physician Partners, Rolling Meadows, IL
Jackie Rouse, MHA, Advocate Trinity Hospital, Chicago, IL
Healthcare reform has called for systems change and attainment of the “triple aim”- better health, better quality, and lower health care costs. One strategy recognized in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and progressively being discussed by medical providers and policy-makers is the utilization of Community Health Workers (CHWs) as valued members of healthcare teams.  Community-based interventions involving the CHW model are shown to be effective at enhancing service delivery through more efficient, patient-centered care. The ACA’s promotion of new models of care delivery and financing has provided opportunity for CHWs to become financially sustainable partners within healthcare systems.

In 2014, Advocate Physician Partners (Advocate) partnered with the Sinai Urban Health Institute (SUHI), an expert in CHW model implementation, to create a program intended to improve the health of Advocate’s high risk, Medicaid patients.  During the yearlong collaboration, SUHI provides strategic support concerning the CHW model, how best to integrate CHWs into the health system, and implementation of SUHI’s Asthma CarePartners (ACP) program, a 12-month CHW asthma intervention.  This partnership is a “train the trainer” knowledge transfer approach, wherein at the conclusion Advocate will have the capability to launch and maintain a CHW program.  Anticipated outcomes of the ACP program are a 60% reduction in symptom frequency and a 70% reduction in asthma-related health resource utilization.

Novel approaches like this collaboration that focus on systems change to improve patient outcomes and ultimately affect health administration polices is the future of healthcare reform and a sound method for implementing the triple aim.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Discuss Advocate’s strategy for CHW program implementation. Discuss challenges and lessons learned in collaborating with a large health system to uptake the CHW model. Describe the changes needed in a healthcare system’s organizational policies for CHW program implementation. Discuss how national policies have allowed for healthcare systems such as Advocate to develop innovative programs that affect population health. Discuss initial findings of Advocate’s pilot ACP program, including asthma symptom reduction and asthma-related health resource utilization.

Keyword(s): Community Health Workers and Promoters, Affordable Care Act

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working at the Sinai Urban Health Institute for nearly 4 years, have my master's in social work, manage the Asthma CarePartners program and am the lead consultant on our collaboration with Advocate Physician Partners.
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.