AHRQ’s Health Care Innovations Exchange Focuses on Workforce Development and the Role of Community Health Workers
The September 12 issue of AHRQ’s Health Care Innovations Exchange features two profiles related to policies that support the development and expansion of the health care workforce to leverage community members and health workers. One of the policies created a new staff position within primary care clinics and hospitals that was filled by community members with experience as caregivers. Known as “Grand-Aides,” these new members of the health care team completed a rigorous training and certification process before performing a variety of tasks intended to streamline and reduce the costs of patient care, and assist health care teams in providing appropriate care to patients. Though their work varied depending on the setting (primary care or transitional care after discharge), Grand-Aides typically had face-to-face interactions and/or telephone conversations with patients, focusing on assessment of needs, education on preventive and self-care, ongoing monitoring, and followup in two pilot sites, Grand-Aides reduced unnecessary physician visits and demonstrated the potential to generate significant cost savings. This new health workforce role is currently being tested and spread to sites in California, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Texas. Select to read more innovation profile related to community health workers on the Health Care Innovations Exchange Web site, which contains more than 725 searchable innovations and 1,500 QualityTools.