NowPow | CommunityHealth Success Story
Comprehensive healthcare is more than just a single clinic, doctor, or patient—rather, it’s a network of facilities and resources that influence one’s health. Within this network, there is no greater factor to an individual’s overall health than their socioeconomic environment. The resources people have access to make all the difference in the care they receive—when they have strong health insurance and can afford quality care, people are empowered to live better lives; when they do not, their health and wellness often suffer.
The health tech solutions being developed by our partners improve healthcare in a myriad of ways. Some use technology to rethink how clinicians move through everyday workflows; others make use of patient data to inform health system executives which services need improvement.
Other solutions connect patients to community resources that help them manage chronic and social conditions, expanding their healthcare environment and giving them access to the tools they need to lead healthier lives. This is what NowPow does for CommunityHealth, and their partnership of traditional healthcare with innovative technology is a perfect example of how integration can help address social determinants of health.
Background and Challenges
For the past 24 years, CommunityHealth in Chicago has provided comprehensive medical and dental care to uninsured patients living at or below the federal poverty line. With time donated by over 1,000 volunteer physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and counselors, CommunityHealth is able to provide services ranging from primary care to specialty services, including cardiology, gynecology, neurology, and more. Preventative health screenings, diagnostic testing, dental care, and vaccinations are also available on-site to patients who would have no access to quality medical care otherwise.
Being the nation’s largest free medical facility comes with inherent challenges, chief among them providing coordinated, efficient, and precise care to thousands of uninsured patients. With CommunityHealth relying on donated resources, the need for a modernized method of making outside referrals was especially important.
CommunityHealth discovered that finding well-matched resources was challenging for their care teams. Prior to working with NowPow, care providers had been finding resources such as community food banks or dialysis clinics through word-of-mouth or online search engines. While potentially helpful, these facilities could have eligibility requirements, unexpected closures, or intake limitations that would render them unusable to the referred patients.
Without spending valuable time finding out the details of these resources—or worse, outright sending a patient to the wrong resource—knowing whether an outside service could provide legitimate help was virtually impossible.
How NowPow Helps
NowPow’s goal is to close the gap between referral creators and referral receivers, making it easy to make quality, curated, closed-loop referrals. NowPow’s software aggregates and maintains a high-quality resource directory that is continuously updated by an in-house team who regularly validate that listings are operational and correct. Users can search and filter the resource database based on patient demographics, conditions, and specific needs to find well-matched resources and remove barriers to care.
Using NowPow, providers at CommunityHealth find qualified resources and provide patients with curated list of possible resources they can utilize, called a HealtheRx. This list contains resources tailored to the patient’s specific combination of needs with details on resource locations, services, contacts, and hours. HealtheRx’s can be sent to patients via text or email to give them direct, mobile access to resource information.
Another key feature of NowPow’s software is its ability to “close the loop” on patient referrals by sending referrals between organizations directly through NowPow. These referred resource organizations can document patient interactions within the NowPow platform to ensure CommunityHealth staff have a complete picture of the patient’s health and care history. Normally documented over the phone, through email, or via other manual methods, this functionality streamlines the process and allows care professionals to know whether their patients have access to referred resource organizations.
In partnership with CommunityHealth, NowPow’s powerful resource directory and functionality gives CommunityHealth clinics the power to expand the scope of their care and deliver the most effectual treatment plans to patients. CommunityHealth’s work connects patients who have limited resources with quality care, and their partnership with NowPow puts those patients in the best position to stay healthy moving forward.