February 9, 2021/Community Impact

Cleveland Clinic Program Tracks Outcomes of Referrals to Community Resources

Connecting with health, social organizations across Northeast Ohio reduces barriers to care

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Cleveland Clinic and Unite Us are collaborating to link Northeast Ohio healthcare and social care providers through a shared electronic resource referral platform.

Through this platform, Cleveland Clinic will enhance its capability to serve patients who struggle with mental health and access to housing, food, employment, or other health determinants by directly connecting them with community organizations to address those needs, while also tracking the outcomes and impact on individuals’ health.

Referring patients to community social care organizations helps address health equity, racial disparities and social determinants of health which, according to the National Academy of Medicine, account for 80 percent of a person’s overall health. By incorporating the Unite Us technology platform, Cleveland Clinic will be part of a national coordinated care network and the Unite Ohio statewide coordinated care network.

“By engaging with like-minded partners, we can make a difference in creating a healthier community for everyone,” said Adam Myers, M.D., Chief of Population Health at Cleveland Clinic. “This new platform enables us to better connect patients to community-based organizations we partner with to meet those needs. This connectivity is essential for us to ensure those needs are addressed and better understand the impact of these partnerships.”

All Cleveland Clinic patients regardless of insurance are eligible for this support. Services in Ashland, Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit and Wayne counties in Ohio are included in the program. Community resources and organizations that Cleveland Clinic can track through this platform are the Benjamin Rose Institute, Better Health Partnership, Greater Cleveland Food Bank, Home Instead Senior Care and United Way of Greater Cleveland.

“We know many of our patients are struggling with health-related social needs that limit their potential to achieve optimal health and wellness,” said Nazleen Bharmal, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.P., Associate Chief of Community Health & Partnerships at Cleveland Clinic. “Through this effort, and with our regional community partners, we will increase our reach and effectiveness in addressing those individual needs.”

Program implementation is expected to be complete by third quarter of 2021.

Cleveland Clinic’s commitment to the community will enhance the region for generations. Recent efforts that illustrate the health system’s pledge include implementing a school-based healthcare program; providing high speed internet to surrounding neighborhoods; joining OneTen, a coalition of organizations committing to train, hire and advance one million Black Americans over the next 10 years into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement; expanding the ASPIRE Nurses Scholar Program; investing in the JobsOhio initiative; and delivering Thanksgiving dinners to the community.

About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation's best hospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. Among Cleveland Clinic's 67,554 employees worldwide are more than 4,520 salaried physicians and researchers, and 17,000 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,026-bed health system that includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 19 hospitals, more than 220 outpatient facilities, and locations in southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2019, there were 9.8 million total outpatient visits, 309,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 255,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic's health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/CCforMedia and twitter.com/ClevelandClinic. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

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