NYC Health + Hospitals' new approach to connect patients with community resources

As part of its effort to advance screening for social needs, NYC Health + Hospitals has adopted a new tool into its EMR that connects patients with community resources. 

The tool, run by Findhelp, features a referral platform that includes more than 7,000 social service programs, spanning areas such as food assistance, transportation and shelter. After the completion of a social determinants of health screening, staff can use the tool to generate automated resource recommendations. Staff can also directly access the platform to identify community-based resources for their patients. 

"As doctors, we know that too often our patients are struggling with making ends meet, and that is a particularly frustrating barrier to getting or staying healthy," Nichola Davis, MD, vice president and chief population health officer at the New York City-based health system, said in a Jan. 17 news release sent to Becker's. "This new referral platform and patient-facing website for staff is a powerful new tool in our toolbox to help our patients connect with community services and resources." 

The effort is part of the health system's larger social needs screening program, which found nearly 1 in 4 primary care patients screened last year needed assistance. NYC Health + Hospitals plans to expand social needs screening to inpatient settings later this year. 

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