Technological advances have ushered in significant patient improvements in population health outcomes across our nation. These advances have allowed access to lifesaving behavioral and primary health care through telehealth capabilities, especially in rural communities. Additionally, various web, text, app, and related phone-based technologies have prevented suicides, acts of violence, gambling binges, and an array of other critical interventions.
But what good are technological innovations if the people who need them don’t know that they exist, don’t know how to use them, or don’t see the value of using them? Or worse, what if the people who need them don’t trust the entities promoting them.
For more than eight years, we have been listening and trying to meet the needs of our region’s people. When our patients revealed significant primary care symptoms along with mental illness, we built an integrated care model. When our patients shared not having employment opportunities, we created Second Opportunity Workforce Solutions. When they mentioned not having a place to live, we established transitional housing opportunities. When they said they had food insecurities, we partnered with the Food Bank of NELA. And to limit transportation challenges, we built telehealth capabilities, developed a fully equipped integrated health care mobile unit, and now offer an array of school and community-based health and wellness services.
Because of our regional earned trust, we will be launching a mobile app that consolidates our agency’s services and resources, along with those of our partners. Our app release is part of our Rise Above Stigma campaign, designed to understand further the barriers to health-seeking mental and primary health care services. And once the barriers have been identified, our campaign is designed to work with our region’s people to meet and overcome them.
As we prepare to launch our mobile app, we also use population health data and technological advancements to improve our integrated health model. We have an agency goal of being completely integrated and paperless across all internal departments by July 1, 2022.
This integration includes our clinical offices and services, developmental disability offices, prevention, and wellness department, human resources, communications, fiscal, and corporate compliance. Our commitment to using data and technology is our way of working together efficiently and effectively with the region’s people to fulfill our agency’s vision, mission, and tenets.
We will continue to innovate, form committed partnerships, be a catalyst, and inspire those we serve. We understand the importance of our work in the lives of so many individuals, families, and communities in Louisiana’s Delta.