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Spotlight on Innovations and Achievements: Carewell Services Southwest

We're proud to highlight the award-winning work of the 2019 winners of n4a's Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards in this weekly spotlight feature. This week, we are focusing on Carewell Services Southwest's Care Connection Health Intervention Program (C-CHIP). The agency was a 2019 Aging Innovations Award winner in the Health-LTSS Integration category.

By combining innovative technology with in-person visits to older adults in rural areas, Carewell Services Southwest created a program that improved health literacy and helped older adults take ownership of their health. Through a service called the Care Connection Health Intervention Program (C-CHIP), community health workers use iPads and Zoom video conferencing during in-home visits to connect to the patient's primary care office and pharmacist to ask questions about their medications and treatments. 
 
A key outcome of the program was that it reduced emergency room visits and hospital readmissions, all of which impact healthcare costs. The Carewell team has reported that there has been a positive impact on the community served because when a healthcare provider makes the referral to C-CHIP, Carewell responds to the request quickly.
 
A particularly inspiring part of the program was the interactions and relationship that developed between the certified community health workers and their patients. During the program, the community health workers strived to empower patients to take the actions that would help them be successful managing their care, resulting in better health outcomes. This program presents a model of care that is very different from what patients experience in a clinical environment, where the process is triage, diagnosis, prescribe and/or treat. The C-CHIP program is about listening carefully to the patient, advocating for them and helping to empower them to manage their health.
 
Although the program was highly focused on personal attention to the patients, the AAA had a few items to consider when creating the program. As a piece of advice to other AAAs that may be interested in starting a similar program, the Carewell team urges that finding the right health care provider is crucial. Establishing a strong and streamlined relationship with a health care provider makes the process much more manageable. The Carewell team also advises getting access to electronic health records for streamlined referrals. Above all, Carewell says that gathering staff members who have compassion, knowledge of resources and awareness of boundaries is the most important component to developing a successful program.
 
The C-CHIP program made such a significant effect on patients that one program participant remarked “I don't know where I would be without this program. They were my lifeline right when I needed it the most.” Inspiring testimonials like this showcase the true success of the C-C-CHIP program from Carewell.   
 
To learn more about Carewell Services Southwest's Care Connection Health Intervention Program (C-CHIP), contact Karla Ann Fales, CEO at KFales@carewellservices.org.
 
Want to learn more about the 2019 AIA Innovations winners? REGISTER NOW for the final installment of our four-part webinar series, n4a Lunchtime Innovations, to hear your peers' secrets to success for these award-winning programs. Missed the earlier webinars? No problem, as recordings are available for n4a members! 
 
For more information about the 2019 winners, read our press release and check out our book of winners to learn how your agency can implement this or similar programs in your community!

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