Connecting with Medically Underserved Populations

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

Locating, making contact with and staying connected to members of medically underserved populations is a challenge for many organizations that administer disease management (DM) programs. Challenges include working with outdated addresses and phone numbers and the generally transient nature of such populations. HIN’s non-scientific online survey in September 2007 yielded some out-of-the-box ideas from 67 healthcare organizations — including hospitals, physician organizations and health plans — on how they deal with hard-to-reach clients. Here are just a few suggestions excerpted from the complimentary white paper of survey results, Making Contact:
How Healthcare Organizations Locate and Communicate with Hard-to-Reach Clients

  • Provide home outreach.
  • Get updated demographics while patient is still in the hospital.
  • Offer incentives for attendance or participation.
  • Develop distribution lists from programs and events that patients have participated in.
  • Offer work site initiatives and collaboration.
  • Put stickers on the member ID cards instructing them to call a number to update information.
  • Connect every visit with personal benefit so the patient has something to gain from each contact.
  • Rely on vendors to supply us updated/improved data.

Please share any successes your organization has had in this area.

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