Though health care professionals at hospitals work tirelessly to help patients get and stay healthy, some patients struggle with real-life challenges, such as job pressures, difficulty paying for medications, hunger or trauma, which can affect their health. To address these issues, University of Pennsylvania Health System researchers partnered with Philadelphia community members and health system leadership to develop IMPaCT—Individualized Management for Patient-Centered Targets—an evidence-based, nationally recognized model for recruiting and training community health workers (CHWs). Community health workers are front-line staff who are trusted members of the communities they serve. They provide tailored support to help high-risk patients achieve individualized health goals.
Hospitals and health systems can incorporate community health workers into their workforce, extending care beyond the hospital or clinic walls to help bridge gaps in care, expand access to care and, ultimately, improve health outcomes for high-risk patients. Despite the potential in using community health workers, many CHW programs have been ineffective or unsustainable due to turnover, lack of infrastructure, and difficulty measuring or achieving desired outcomes. This webinar discussed how the IMPaCT model systematically addresses those challenges and how hospitals can create an effective, standardized and scalable CHW program.
Jill Feldstein, Chief Operating Officer, Penn Center for Community Health Workers, University of Pennsylvania Health System