Encourage Patients with Chronic Conditions to Participate in Effective Community Programs
Improving Chronic Care: Community
- Review class curricula for compatibility with the clinic's self-management approach and cultural differences.
- Review the system for referring patients to the community agency offering the class or group.
- Use the registry to mail out fliers to patients. Include an endorsement from providers or respected community figures.
- Use volunteers to remind patients.
- Maintain close communication with the community sponsor.
- Evaluate class/group with patients.
- Make sure the agency offering the class/group has a similar mission to yours and that both will benefit from the referrals.
- Be willing to work with the agency to help make their curriculum compatible.
- Constantly keep cultural sensitivity in mind.
- Assign a staff member to be a key contact and identify a key contact at the partner agency.
- "Prescribe" the class/group using a prescription pad.
- Anticipate that transportation to classes/groups may be a barrier for some patients, and find solutions.
- Keep in touch with patient participants if it is an ongoing class/group to determine problems, barriers, and provide feedback and support.
- If the cost of patient education classes is a problem for some uninsured patients, offer to trade: A staff physician will talk at a class about diabetes meds or complications in return for a "scholarship" for an indigent patient to take the classes.