Community health is a young field. New developments happen all the time, but the Purple Binder team couldn’t find a single source of news that had all of the information we wanted. That’s what inspired us to start our Community Health Roundup. We figured that if we were looking for this news, others in the community health space would be as well.

We’re collecting the latest updates on community health and publishing the best of it in this digest. This will be a weekly feature, but sometimes we’ll wait a few extra days to publish. If you have suggestions on what to cover, please feel free to submit them via our contact page.

Best Practices

Pharmacists engage patients in health management from hospitals to communities to their homes (American Pharmacists Association)

“Pharmacists have the opportunity to engage patients in comprehensive health management across the health care continuum, and I believe these types of health care models resonate well with patients, physicians, and pharmacists.”

Necessity for the integration of primary care and public health (American Academy of Family Physicians)

“One of the first objectives for family physicians to understand the living conditions patients face when they leave our office or when they leave the hospital. This is paralleled with a growing awareness of the social, environmental, and community determinants of health. However, for successful broad system change, Family Medicine within the Primary Care specialties must co-align with the public health sector, two fields with a common interest yet functioning independently for the last century.”

Research

Coordinated care platform reduces fragmentation of healthcare and improves health of vulnerable populations (Health IT Outcomes)

“Medical Home Network has released the findings of a review of its model of care program for Illinois Medicaid patients, which demonstrates an increase of as much as 130.4 percent in timely patient follow-up visits, a 25 percent decrease in 30-day hospital readmissions, and a decrease in the overall cost of care for each patient December of 2012.”

Are primary care providers prepared to care for breast cancer survivors in the safety net? (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

“The growing number of breast cancer survivors is outpacing the capacity of oncology providers, prompting the transition of patients back to primary care. However, primary care providers (PCPs) may have less experience and limited knowledge around treating survivors.”

Trends

Expanding roles of non-physician staff reflect future of healthcare (Boston Globe)

“State and federal efforts to overhaul health care are driving providers to emphasize preventive services and lower-cost settings. In its two-year forecast for 2013-2015, the state projects 6.8 percent job growth in outpatient health care services, compared with just 1.4 percent for hospitals. Meanwhile, the shortage of primary care physicians is increasing demand for nurse practitioners and certified midwives.”

Urgent care, retail medicine changing how and where people seek care (Chicago Tribune)

“Some Affordable Health Care plans offer cheaper monthly premiums in exchange for high deductibles, which may steer more patients to urgent-care clinics. While it cost about $94 to treat a sore throat at a local urgent care center in 2013, treating the same symptoms would total more than $590 at an emergency room, according to CareFirst Inc., a Maryland health insurer. Flu treatment at a retail clinic cost around $128; the same procedures would total $804 in an ER.”

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