BEYOND FACILITY WALLS: TAKING HEALTH CARE INTO THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES

Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Image: community-centric health care

The factors that determine poor personal health have much to do with the challenges communities face on a daily basis. Health care facilities should be taking steps to improve the health of not only patients, but also the general population with community-centric efforts and initiatives. Here are six ways health care systems can take care beyond the facility walls into surrounding neighborhoods.

  1. Community Partnerships
    Focusing on efforts outside of the facility, heath care systems should continuously look to partner with external organizations. Partnerships with schools, public health departments, and other similar groups allow facilities to join forces with other community stakeholders to execute strategies that benefit the greater good.

  2. Community Initiatives
    To advance population health, health systems can conduct free door-to-door public screenings, offer healthy food options to those in need, and host public education programs within the community.

    Community-centric systems should also encourage staff to get outside of the facility walls and into the community. Paid days off to volunteer allow employees to feel more fulfilled knowing they are making a difference both inside and outside of the facility.

  3. Triple Aim as a Main Focus
    Health care systems should consistently try to achieve success on the three dimensions of the Triple Aim. The Triple Aim is a framework that describes an approach to optimizing system performance by enhancing patient experience and population health while reducing the per capita cost of health care.

  4. Data to Gauge Community Health and Drive Decisions
    Health care systems should work to actively understand the health status of the community through data and reporting. Population surveys help health care facilities gauge the health of the public in order to form strategies to treat their community's unique health needs and issues.

  5. Community Feedback in Regards to Change
    When it comes to large changes within a health care facility, such as design or structural improvements, health care systems should seek the public's input and feedback on those changes through the use of surveys, focus groups, and more. During major renovations, facilities need to work to minimize the impact construction has on the surrounding area.

  6. Full-System Approach
    A community-centric approach is only as successful as the physicians and staff executing it. Population health management should be engrained into the facility's operations through continuous training, education, and messaging, and should be strongly backed by the C-suite and other executives.

By incorporating community-centric initiatives into a facility's day-to-day operations, hospitals and health systems can better serve all members of the community while actively strategizing and preparing for the future.

Join us at the 2018 PDC Summit to explore the topic of community-centric health care further. The following sessions will discuss community health improvement strategies and best practices:

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