Excellent doctors, comprehensive healthcare programs, patient-centric services, and continuously improving systems can transform communities. Our complex healthcare system consists of sophisticated processes that create unintentional barriers to entry. Any barrier to entry equates to a lack of access. Lack of access is a leading cause of poor health outcomes.
Access to healthcare means having “the timely use of personal health services to achieve the best health outcomes.”
Access to healthcare consists of four components:
- Access to Coverage facilitates entry into the healthcare system. Insurance is an entry process to receiving care. Being uninsured requires alternative processing. Alternative processing leads to delays. Delays in care exacerbate the health condition. Poorer health condition denotes a greater cost of health care.
- Access to Services intends for each individual to have convenient access to preventative services provided by a trusted, preferred source of care. Adults and children that do not receive preventative services on the recommended schedules derail into poor health and higher health care expense.
- Access to Timeliness is the ability to receive care when the need is recognized.
- Access to Workforce ensures capable, qualified, culturally competent providers.
(Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)
Community project applications in this category should offer strategies such as addressing issues of access in targeted communities.
Examples of Activities:
- Expand telehealth services
- Hire/deploy Community Health Workers (CHWs)
- Assistance with finding health insurance coverage