Investing in outreach community health workers improves access to primary care services at a safety net hospital system
The outreach CHW serves as a link between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services. CHWs connect with members at specific sites in the community such as the Emergency Department, Adult Correctional Facility, Homeless Shelter, and Day Center. The ultimate goal is for the members to establish primary care, reduce inappropriate utilization, and increase access to services. This approach also fosters a trusting relationship and support system with the patient in the community which will hopefully result in reducing social disparities such as homelessness and recidivism. A pathway to primary medical and dental care was created based on the CHAP model for connecting patients to health and human services. Success is evaluated through the number of primary care or dental care appointments completed, the number of life-style overview surveys completed, and decreased ED utilization.
We have learned that patients that have transitioned from the community setting and have worked with an Outreach CHWs come to primary care with a very clear idea of what they can expect from their clinic CHW and are more familiar with standard tasks such as scheduling appointments, requesting transportation, and connecting with clinic staff.
Learning Areas:Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Describe an innovative health system Community Health Worker outreach program to engage patients in primary care Discuss population characteristics of the low-income population served Identify process measures and program outcomes of a health system Community Health Worker outreach program Describe key strategies for communicating and collaborating with clinic-based Community Health Workers
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been an outreach community health worker since April, 2014. I have been involved in the design and implementation of this project.
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.