Designing for Impact in Integrated Service Delivery
Tracy Waring Evans, Executive Director, APHSA sat down with HITC’s Rob Waters to discuss some of the opportunities and challenges H&HS agencies are facing in designing service delivery frameworks that maximize the opportunity provided by integrated data (including SDoH) and leverage community-based organizations.
Rob Waters: For this year’s plenary panel, APHSA has brought together a cross-section of state, local and provider level presenters. What did you learn during your conversations with panelists regarding “Designing for Impact in Integrated Service Delivery”?
Tracy Waring Evans: Health and human services systems, on the state, local and community levels, are embracing outcome-focused services informed by population-based data, whole family approaches, and advances in brain and behavioral sciences. The H/HS system is experiencing a shift from a reactive, crisis-oriented services delivery model to one that focuses “upstream” and better enables all of us to live to our full potential and to more effectively identify and address root causes when we do encounter roadblocks along the way. Integrated Service Delivery is a key aspect of this shift as it connects previously siloed programs, helps provide access to the right services at the right time, and enables learning environments that better inform us about what works to prevent the need for deeper-end services.
Technology is an important enabling factor in this effort. Many agencies are in the process of transitioning from legacy IT systems that “siloed” customer data to integrated systems that allow front-line workers to see a holistic picture of their clients and tailor services to best meet customer needs. The embrace of technology is occurring at all levels of H/HS, and that is why it is important to hear the perspectives from practitioners on the ground who are leading state and local efforts as well as those leading research efforts. Each brings a distinct perspective and helps paint a picture of the overall H/HS system of today, and what we hope to achieve in the future.
RW: There is a big focus at the moment on SDoH (Social Determinants of Health) and leveraging CBOs (Community Based Organizations) for population health/well-being outcomes, what are some of the challenges for agencies in further leveraging these resources?
TWE: We recently partnered with the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, SeaChange Capital Partners, and Oliver Wyman on a report: A National Imperative: Joining Forces to Strengthen Human Services in America which focuses on the economic and social impact of human services community-based organizations (CBOs), and the need to strengthen and preserve their pivotal role in the larger human services ecosystem. One of the most important conclusions in the report is that CBOs play a critical role in augmenting state and local H/HS service delivery, but the overall financial health of the nation’s CBOs is not as strong as it should be and the risk of losing services delivered by CBOs is significant.
CBOs are at the forefront of service delivery just as front-line H/HS agency workers are. The direct contact they have with the clients they serve is invaluable in uncovering the SDoH factors that act as roadblocks to individuals, families and communities in reaching their full potential. One of the challenges related to the financial health of the CBO sector is that it is often under-resourced for critical IT upgrades or excluded from interoperability efforts. It is extremely important that all sectors of H/HS work together to ensure that CBOs are also able to maximize data to effectively deliver services and positively impact population health and well-being.
RW: What are some of the common challenges APHSA members are facing in purchasing and implementing IT services to support their integration objectives?
TWE: Many state and local agencies are bogged down by outmoded, legacy IT systems, and the budget pressure that they face is daunting. There are so many competing priorities – state and local governments are in a tough position when it comes to allocating funds, and are constantly looking for efficiencies in both process and costs.
RW: Could you share some insight on some of the work APHSA is undertaking to support your member efforts in this area?
TWE: Our collaborative center, the National Collaborative for Integration of Health and Human Services, in concert with our members and private industry partners has produced a number of toolkits and guidances to help our members with their integration initiatives. Most recently, it published a Guide to Data Management, Privacy & Confidentiality, and Predictive Analytics which lays out the building blocks of a data sharing strategy. The National Collaborative is at the forefront of H/HS systems integration, and our members and partners have done an incredible job at highlighting successful integration efforts and helping states and localities implement innovative technologies.
Join Tracey on: Thursday, April 5 • 10:45am – 11:45am Track 3: PLENARY – Designing for Impact in Integrated Service Delivery 2018 Healthcare IT Connect Summit