Care navigation is the heart of what AccessHealth Spartanburg does. An emerging concept in healthcare, care navigation is how we assist our clients in identifying and accessing the range of available services and support they need to stabilize and improve their health and their lives.
The care navigation model goes well beyond connecting people in need to medical services — it includes behavioral health services and social services as well. AccessHealth Spartanburg's care navigators are experts in the full landscape of services, systems and community-wide support that can help our clients address and overcome barriers to care. Indeed, most of the time, AHS clients will be connected to non-medical care or services in addition to referrals for their medical needs. AHS helps our clients to first understand and navigate the local ecosystem of progams, services and healthcare providers, and then coordinates their care and treatment. Care navigators function as frontline liaisons between clients and community partners working to improve health outcomes for low-income, uninsured Spartanburg County residents. The result for AHS clients is holistic care plans that produce better and more sustainable outcomes.
An early adopter of the care navigation model, AccessHealth Spartanburg is focused not only on what our clients' health care needs are, but what their barriers to care are. For example, instead of only helping a client with heart disease get an appointment with a physician, we help determine if they have transportation issues that could affect their ability to make it to their appointments, and then discover if they also need to be enrolled in a smoking-cessation program. We also work with our clients to improve their diets through nutrition education. If needed, we enroll them in a program that provides prescription medication assistance. On a case-by-case basis, we determine if our clients need help finding housing, qualifying for SNAP, or jump-starting a job search. We then connect them to the appropriate local organizations or agencies.
AccessHealth Spartanburg's nine care navigators have backgrounds as nurses, community health workers and social workers. Their collective expertise is esssential to ensuring clients are able to access the menu of community services that best meet their needs.
Our innovative approach has made AceessHealth Spartanburg a national model in care coordination.
AccessHealth Spartanburg helps remove social barriers to preventive health care, reducing overall costs.
AccessHealth Spartanburg's partnerships and approach to care coordination is making a big impact.
Impact of partnership deepens with addition of AHS-funded Community Health Worker at St. Luke's Free Medical Clinic