Meeting the Challenges of Sustainable Health Care Change
At no time in our nation’s history have the needs of healthcare and human services been more aligned. Today’s health and human services agencies share a central goal: serving clients and delivering quality services that lead to better outcomes. However with the complex physiological, social and economic pressures facing clients today, agencies find it increasingly challenging to deliver whole person care that leads to lasting change in a siloed delivery system.
This is especially true with the complex physiological, social and economic issues that are present in impoverished communities throughout the U.S. These can be difficult to predict or control; and out in the field where the work is being done, they can quickly present a series of unsurmountable challenges. Communities and the organizations trying to serve them, suddenly find themselves in a crippling spiral and the cumulative social and economic toll on the individual and the community can be staggering.
In a year-long analysis commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (https://www.rwjf.org/en/library/research/2017/01/communities-in-action–pathways-to-health-equity.html), 19 national experts in public health, civil rights, healthcare, social science, education, research and business reported on the national toll that health inequities have taken in recent years:
- Healthcare: Between 2009 and 2018, racial health disparities alone are expected to cost $337 billion for health insurers, according to the RWFJ report. The money spent on healthcare in 2014, for example, was a whopping 17.5 percent of GDP.
- National Security: Health inequities that produce stubborn health problems in young people, in concert with the problems of poor education or criminal misconduct, have caused about 26 million young adults to be unqualified to serve in the U.S. military.
Acknowledging that the root causes of health inequities are “diverse, complex, evolving and interdependent,” the panel calls for greater investment and collaboration across sectors to address the multiple factors that influence health and to change the types of policies, practices and systems that have kept inequity in place.
Organizations and communities continue to struggle to realistically and effectively address and improve the environmental conditions necessary to improve health and economic self-sufficiency of those they serve. Because of this, patients in a lower socio-economic status continue to suffer from issues such as higher rates of chronic disease, higher infant and maternal mortality, substance abuse and addiction, domestic violence, child abuse, neglect, juvenile delinquency, violent crime, mental health disorders and the like.
This network of ailments often includes multiple combinations of the following maladies:
- Chronic Disease and Malnutrition
- Infant and Maternal Health
- Substance Abuse and Addiction
- Juvenile Delinquency
- Child Abuse and Neglect
- Violent Crime and Family Issues
- Mental Health Disorders
Despite these struggles, collaborative technology, shared treatment protocols and shared data security can drive benefits in improved health outcomes, improved economic self-sufficiency, healthier communities, lower healthcare costs and better health education. This ultimately leads to the ability to realistically and effectively create a person-centric, transformational community change — maximizing existing funded services to improve health and economic self-sufficiency for individuals and families.
Learn how the Community Health Hub creates a solution that effectively addresses the issue of the negative impact of poverty on healthcare — and creates a unified technology that bridges the gap between healthcare and the lack of resources for social determinants to deliver improved outcomes and sustainable results.
For a more in-depth discussion and analysis of how the Community Health Hub helps meet the challenges of sustainable healthcare change, download our white paper today.