Friday, May 19, 2017

Partnering with 211 to create a "single entry point" for community-based diabetes prevention and management programs

One of the most consistent things we hear medical providers say when we talk to them about the SEVEN+ evidence-based, community-based diabetes prevention/management programs in Buncombe County is, "Wow, that's GREAT, but I don't have the time in a patient visit to walk a them through seven programs to find the best fit. Now if there were one phone number we could call..."

One phone number. We already HAVE one phone number. Why reinvent the wheel? Asheville is home to one of the two 211 call centers in NC, so our CHIP Diabetes Workgroup invited Marla Browne, 211 Director, to our March meeting to educate us about all the amazing work they do connecting WNC residents to a huge array of resources, from housing to childcare to medication assistance and legal help. All of the diabetes programs were already in the 211 database, but our group has been working to update the program profiles to highlight the differences between the programs and focus on what is unique to each, so a 211 Referral Specialist will have the information they need to help a caller (patient or provider) identify the best program fit.At the end of May we will meet with Referral Specialists to give them an overview of the programs, answer their questions about referring to each, and also ask them questions about cross-referring, etc. And voila! One phone number where a provider can connect patients to find the diabetes program that fits their needs.

The next step is actually promoting this to both medical providers and community members--stay tuned!