How to Develop Community Health, Patient Outreach Efforts

Sara Heath | Patient Engagement HIT | July 31, 2017

Community health and patient outreach efforts should center on meeting the social needs of patients in rural and vulnerable urban areas, AHA says.

The AHA has published a toolkit to help drive community health and improve patient outreach efforts in rural regions and vulnerable urban communities. As healthcare becomes increasingly value-based, hospitals are working to use their resources in the most efficient way possible to meet the needs of their individual communities. This means putting a larger focus on community health, which can help serve patients outside the four walls of the hospital. This will improve the health of the population at a lower healthcare cost.

“Transformation will require participation from more than just the hospital or health system,” AHA said, addressing hospitals. “As you begin to consider the emerging strategies included in the task force report, it is critical for you to engage with individuals from the community and work collaboratively to identify the needs most important to your community.”

“This engagement will allow hospitals and health systems to have a clearer understanding of the community, its health issues, the root causes of those issues and the availability of resources and assets to address them,” the organization continued. This toolkit was geared toward helping hospitals begin the conversation about healthcare within their communities. AHA touched upon three key strategies: community conversation events, community health assessments, and social media in healthcare...