Our priorities for 2016 include:
- Increase the number of clients who were screened for alcohol and/or drug use, depression, hepatitis C, HIV and tobacco use
- Increase the number of scheduled follow-up appointments for clients who either visited an emergency department or were admitted for inpatient hospitalization
- Decrease the number of diabetic clients who have a hemoglobin A1c value over 9%
- Increase the number of clients who receive pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations
- Increase the number of adult medical clients whose BMI was documented, and who received counseling /follow-up if they were overweight or obese
- Increase the number of mental health clients who have fewer psychiatric symptoms and whose functioning improves
Performance Improvement: A Case Study
In April, 2015, Health Care for the Homeless providers began administering a substance abuse screening process called SBIRT to clients. This is a simple set of questions that identifies people who might be abusing alcohol or drugs and offers opportunities for an intervention. This screening process presents a huge—and important—opportunity in our work with people experiencing homelessness:
- It can be administered by almost any health care professional; at Health Care for the Homeless, our medical, mental health, case management, housing and outreach providers all use the SBIRT screen with clients.
- It creates the opening for providers and clients to have difficult conversations about substance use, a topic many people find uncomfortable.
By the end of 2015, 79% of eligible clients were receiving the SBIRT screen each month, a number that far exceeds the rates at most other health centers in the Mid-Atlantic area.
Our goal in 2016 is to continue to improve our screenings for substance abuse and ensure that all our lients receive help when they need it.