Interested in group enrollment for your organization? Contact us at 541-737-4197 for details.
Training hospital, clinic and health department staff to serve as community health workers (CHWs) is a smart, strategic investment with real benefits for the populations we serve. Properly trained, staff serving in other roles – including desk/admissions staff, social workers, nursing assistants and others – can help us engage patients and their families on a personal level to accelerate Eastern Oregon’s shared progress on key benchmarks such as well care visits, prenatal care, patient satisfaction, disease management and more.
Considering relatively low per-participant training cost to prepare employees for CHW certification, organizations may expect a significant ROI. Reviews of research by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Centers for Disease Control found evidence that CHWs can increase appropriate health care utilization in multiple categories. These findings suggest that CHWs support both health outcomes and progress toward incentivized benchmarks.
A recent New England-based demonstration project that had CHWs playing a prominent role in asthma medication management for children showed fewer hospital admissions and emergency room visits - with savings of $1,104 per patient in one year. Results from this study are consistent with the CDC’s own summary of research, which affirmed CHWs’ effectiveness. Patients engaged by CHWs are more likely to keep appointments, comply with prescribed regimens and receive timely follow up or well care.
Through a partnership with Oregon State University, Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization is pleased to offer an innovative training option that combines state-of-the-art online learning with convenient, county-based seminars.
The first phase of this initiative in spring 2016 will seek to leverage the talent of front-line workers already present in hospital and provider organizations across Eastern Oregon. Progress on our shared goals related to utilization and condition management, for example, should demonstrate a positive return on investment for this initiative. Provider reimbursement for CHW services from EOCCO to contracted providers will offer an incentive for any investment of time and resources needed to thoughtfully integrate newly trained staff.
As this initiative progresses, we will eventually seek to extend this training opportunity to individuals working in other health and/or social service settings in the region.