The Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation has created a new proximity index to address the needs of those who have been in touch with the health system in the past year, even if they don’t have plans for a medical visit in the next month.
The goal is to connect Dallas County residents who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 and experiencing poorer outcomes. Engaging potential patients before they get too sick or are in the early stages of illness can improve outcomes and save on health costs.
This summer, PCCI launched its original proximity index, with used algorithms and mapping to give patients a risk score based on their own risk factors and proximity to ongoing outbreaks.“This project utilizes the key skillsets of Parkland and PCCI — innovation, public service, outreach, and community engagement — in service of our patients and the residents of Dallas County. It is greatly extending our reach in combatting COVID-19 effectively, particularly for the most vulnerable in our community,” said Dr. Brett Moran, senior vice president and chief medical information officer at Parkland via release.
For the latest index, patients will receive a text from Parkland asking questions about their health and activities to determine their risk of contracting COVID-19. Information about how to stay safe and arrange a virtual visit, get medication refills, or address other needs is also available. The communication also addresses social determinants of health like food security, and PCCI has partnered with nonprofits who can provide nutritious food.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Parkland has messaged more than 210,000 people and called more than 108,000. Parkland Community Health Workers have made contact with nearly 3,000 high-risk patients to provide mental health support, medication assistance, COVID-19 education, and more.
“The work PCCI does to connect providers with other community services to improve patients’ social determinants of health is more important now than ever,” said Steve Miff, PCCI president and CEO.