WVU Medicine plan to implement new program to reduce barriers to care

Health

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — WVU Medicine has plans to implement a new program designed to address social determinants and barriers that affect patient health.

The program, with the aid of a $50,000 grant from the Highmark West Virginia Charitable Fund for Health, will endeavor to extend the electronic medical record system EPIC in order to “give providers a list of community-based organizations to which patients can be referred, such as a local food pantry or transportation service.”

“Social barriers, such as not having a place to sleep at night or not having a means of transportation to make it to your doctor’s appointment, can have a significant impact on a person’s health,” Chris McCormick, WVU Medicine Population Health director, said. “In fact, research has associated 40 percent of a person’s health to socioeconomic factors, making it incredibly difficult to manage and treat chronic disease without considering social barriers.”

The system will allow providers to review the patient’s file and to see if the organization was able to follow up with the patient. 

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