The HealthEC Blog

Prince George’s Health Alliance and Health Department Join Forces to Address SDOH, Improve Public Health

HealthEC customer Prince George’s Health Alliance was recently interviewed by Healthcare Innovation regarding their collaboration with the Prince George’s County Health Department. In a community-wide effort around social determinants of health (SDOH), the two organizations are working together to improve public health, reduce hospital visits and cut hospital charges per patient from $18,929 to only $8,699. 
 
In the article, representatives from both organizations share their strategies and tactics for effective public health management, especially during the pandemic. The four foundational components of their successful collaboration are:
 
• Implementation and shared use of a centralized population health technology platform
• Collaborative patient assessments, education and interventions
• Full SDOH assessments on every patient with outreach to connect patients with community services
• New care coordination and communication services to support the region’s Covid-19 response
 
According to Barbara Banks-Wiggins, executive director of the Prince George’s Healthcare Alliance, “we focus on people with social determinants of health barriers impacting their clinical outcomes.” The Alliance then assigns trained and experienced personnel to connect these people with resources in the community such as primary care doctors, health literacy or education, and self-management principles. Keys to their mutual success include: 
 
• Hire community health workers and introduce a population health model
• Give providers funding to open new practices in the community through grants
• Develop an ongoing primary care strategy and build community service partner alliances
• Combine pharmaceutical interventions with public health interventions
• Establish a COVID Care Program to address SDOH and acute-level issues during the pandemic
 
The interview dives deeper into the biggest interventions achieved, organizational strategy, challenges and future plans for the collaboration. Ernest Carter, M.D., Ph.D., Health Officer of the Prince George’s County Health Department, concludes the interview with his advice for other community public health organizations. His positive and inspirational advice is relevant for all of us in healthcare. 
 
“Just start; don’t let anybody say you can’t do it. Create your roadmap and advocate for your vision. You can’t let anybody stop you. And look towards best practices. Connect with people who are like minds.” 
 
 
Author: Laura Porto
Date of Publishing : 1/5/21 8:04 AM

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