Community care can be a widely misunderstood term. Many think of it from a hospital standpoint, where it’s all about taking care of the sick. But it’s a much bigger concept than simply addressing and healing the ill. It’s about nurturing the social, spiritual, and psychological alongside the physical. It’s about drawing upon various resources to meet the needs of the community. And it’s about rethinking the ‘how’, ‘when’, and ‘where’ of patient care.
In fact, there are a lot of parallels between community care and the One Healthy Boston program. They’re both about looking at overall health, wellness, and fitness, and then translating that to healthier lifestyles with healthier outcomes. Let’s break down the main aspects of successful community care.
Education. A large part of community care comes down to educating the public. Proper education can leave a lasting impact, and in turn, cause people to strive toward healthier lifestyles. The topics are ongoing and broad, and range from proper nutrition, to identifying precursors, to recognizing the impact of social media on behavioral health. It can come in the form of community outreach programs (more on that later) or with programs like One Healthy Boston.
Communication. Information is useless if the public has no way of accessing it. So utilizing all forms of communication will really act as a connector for the community. There are a lot of new tools and technology that allow health care systems to reach out in a timely manner. And it’s more than reaching out to residents. It’s about building relationships with schools, law enforcement, and judicial systems in order to take the hospital setting outside the hospital.
Community. What would community care be without community? The goal, after all, is to build and maintain a healthy, thriving community that draws others in. One way to initiate this is with community outreach programs, such as South Shore Health’s Youth Health Connection. Not only do they provide valuable resources, but they also provide further education for the public. Because when the community comes together as one, there’s a rise in economic growth and revitalization. That, in turn, attracts newcomers and even draws old community members back.
Healthcare has become far too corporate and business-driven. Community care makes up for what’s been lost in healthcare. It brings it back to a ‘we care’ attitude, and has a mission to solve problems and bring the community together through conversations that turn into deep-rooted connections. It’s creating a dialogue as the building blocks to a healthy, happy community. See how South Shore Health is transforming community care. Because without health, what do you really have?