A new partnership in Atlanta is helping church-goers monitor blood pressure and live healthier lives.
A new partnership in Atlanta is launching a remote patient monitoring program through area churches to address chronic care management in underserved communities.
Digital health company Rimidi is partnering with the Brighter Day Health Foundation to launch wellness clinics at Atlanta-area churches, beginning with Impact Church and World of Faith Family Worship. Brighter Day will locate weekend clinics within those churches and use RPM technology from Rimidi to help church-goers monitor their blood pressure and manage their health.
With underserved populations at a higher risk of developing chronic conditions and often facing barriers to accessing healthcare, healthcare organizations are looking for new ways to reach them and improve access to resources and care management. Some programs have located care teams and clinics in barber shops, beauty salons, community centers, fitness centers, libraries, and retail sites like malls and pharmacies.
[See also: Memphis Project Brings Primary Care to Urban YMCAs.]
Community health outreach is vital to health systems, both in improving clinical outcomes and reducing adverse health concerns that result in expensive trips to the doctor’s office, emergency care clinic, or hospital ER. Hospitals and health networks that collaborate with or support these programs can reduce acute care costs and ED traffic, while promoting healthier communities.
Some 350 church-goers are currently engaged in the Rimidi-Brighter Day program, in neighborhoods that are 80% African-American and the average age is 55. The participants have access to a nurse practitioner and dietitian at the weekend clinics and are given connected devices to track their blood pressure at home and send that date to their care teams. Staff at the clinics work with these patients to develop care management and healthy living plans at home.
“Chronic diseases are some of the most prevalent, yet challenging conditions to manage, especially when social determinants of health can create barriers to care,” Lucie Ide, MD, PhD, founder and CEO of Atlanta-based Rimidi, said in a news release. “It’s our responsibility as a clinical management platform to reduce those barriers through innovative technology, such as RPM. Our partnership with Brighter Day Health Foundation is aiming to meet patients where they are–literally–in their communities. Together, we will seek to provide individuals who currently may have limited access to healthcare within the Atlanta community with new tools and services to better manage their chronic conditions and improve their health overall.”
“Our goal at Brighter Day Health Foundation is not to take the place of the primary care provider, but to provide timely secondary interventions that help preclude ‘rising risk patients from becoming high risk patients,’” Eric Nixon, MPH, Brighter Day’s president and CEO, said in the press release. “Our faith-based model brings people into the healthcare system by creating new care access points and removing the non-clinical barriers to care that have historically plagued minority and underserved communities.”
Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation, Technology, and Pharma for HealthLeaders.
Healthcare organizations are targeting care management for underserved populations by reaching them where they live, shop, and congregate.
These programs locate health clinics in churches, libraries, and other locations to appeal to people who don’t often visit a doctor.
A new program in Atlanta being run through churches helps church-goers manage their blood pressure through an RPM program that tracks their readings and offers care management resources.