Connecting Patients With Community Services Can Improve Overall Health

Connecting patients with their community can improve well-being and help to transform health care, according to a study by Florida Atlantic University. 

 

In the study, investigators coined the term “patient ecosystem management (PEM).

” According to the study authors, PEM is the process of expanding and managing resources for patients. Investigators believe that time should be spent discussing individual patient needs.

 

By taking time to connect patients with community resources, the entire community benefits from improved health as well. In this way, care providers 

are able to

 improve not only the health of their patient, but the community at large. 

 

Training health care professionals to help connect patients to community resources can improve the lives of patients at home, at work and in the care setting itself, according to the study. The framework designed by researchers requires sensitivity training for health care workers and a complete knowledge of community resources. 

 

“We believe more time needs to be spent, not just by physicians who are time- crunched as it is, but to really develop a team approach to identify what the issues are for individual patients and to connect them to a series of resources outside of maybe the hospital and inside their lived world in order to give them the resources they need to improve,” lead author and Florida Atlantic University assistant professor Andrew 

Gallan

, PhD said. 

 

Investments are needed to fully actualize 

PEMs; however, the framework is already there. According to investigators, it just needs to be built up and invested in.