The Center for Care Innovations is a nonprofit based in Oakland, California. It sparks, seeds, and spreads innovations that strengthen the health and well-being of historically underinvested communities. And it creates lasting change in collaboration with partners in the health ecosystem. This podcast offers new ideas and practical advice that anyone can apply today.
Rallying Through Transition to Optimize Patient-Focused Care
What does it take for an entire network of safety net health centers to transition to a new electronic health record (EHR) system — one that enhances coordinated care and is better equipped to serve their communities? For Community Health Center Network (CHCN), it was a multiyear journey involving many readiness assessments, drumming up excitement to encourage staff buy-in, and lots of collaboration across all levels of the organization. In this episode, we discuss lessons learned and the bright spots of this enormous project.
Health Tech Navigators: A Boon to Greater Community Access, Trust and Engagement
A patient portal is a great innovation, but busy clinic staff don’t have time to help every patient get set up on them and answer all their questions about it. In addition, patients often need ongoing support on how to communicate with their provider on the website, get updates, and access their health records.
Enter the Health Tech Navigators — people serving in a role that is for the community, by the community. These Navigators, hired directly from the community, work closely with patients to support not only enrollment, but to increase portal use and to bridge gaps in healthcare accessibility that have long existed with language, culture, trust, and tech literacy. Listen to how the Los Angeles Department of Health Services (LADHS) created and supports its Health Tech Navigator program to surface a growing practice of cultural humility and competency in patient engagement.
Inclusive Community Building
We chat with Levi Baer, a facilitator and coach who believes that joy, justice, and community are all at the heart of meaningful progress. His work focuses on creating welcoming spaces that are grounded in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices and anti-racism. Levi shares with us that trust is a foundation for equity work, as well as collaboration.
Collaboration is Innovation: Revamping the Patient Portal
Can a more advanced patient portal improve face-to-face visits? Appointments are often jam-packed with asking key questions, deploying screening tools, and then chronicling all those answers that it's increasingly difficult to also analyze patient data and provide insightful, in-the-moment guidance. Shasta Community Health Center bet that a revamp of its patient portal could enable patients to take a more active role in their care while also improving provider workflows. In this episode, we discuss how staff, patients, and other key stakeholders all collaborated on retooling and optimizing this platform.
Missed Appointments, Missed Prevention Opportunities
Scheduling appointments is one of the biggest challenges facing community health centers. Patients often lose those self-addressed postcard reminders, and manually calling patients to book a recall appointment is a major slog for clinic staff. The flurry of activity around COVID-19 tests and vaccines has only compounded that problem, as patients encounter jammed phone lines and long wait times. But starting in 2021, Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center began piloting an automated patient recall system — one that offers easier, more efficient outreach, as well as the personalized text message nudge patients need.
State of Equity: Health Care for Our Safety Net
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen health care organizations innovate rapidly to meet the ever-changing needs of a global crisis. As we go into our third pandemic year, we’re taking a step back to examine whether healthcare is more or less equitable now. Listen to this candid conversation with three leaders about the changes and ongoing challenges to flip existing power dynamics within healthcare institutions so that care is anchored in the needs of the underserved communities.