Designing for Scale on IMPaCT, a Community Health Worker Model
Penn Medicine, Center for Health Care Innovation
Penn Center for Community Health Workers
Community Health Workers (CHW's) are non-clinical staff who help disadvantaged patients achieve goals related to their health. For example, a CHW might help a patient secure stable housing before trying to help with heart medication adherence, or they might help a patient sign up to exercise at the YMCA, in order to lose weight for diabetes management.
Shreya Kangovi, a physician-researcher at Penn Medicine, had developed an effective Community Health Worker model called IMPaCT. Her program of 8 CHWs was achieving outstanding outcomes in patient satisfaction, disease management, and continuity of care. Moreover, her model was exciting to Penn Medicine leadership because her model was showing significant savings to the Health System by addressing the root causes of disease, which also saved emergency room beds for patients of higher payor value.
Dr. Kangovi became bombarded with requests to scale IMPaCT from physicians across Penn Medicine as well as from leaders of other health systems, and policy makers. She applied for and was awarded a grant from the Innovation Center to grow and distribute her model. In addition to a cash prize, she won 6 months of my time to help her conduct user research and develop a business model for distributing the knowledge in a way that was allegiant to her research model.
Innovation Experience Design Lead
Ideation of Solutions
Business Model Innovation
We started by conducting UX research with clinicians and staff across the Health Systems. With MBA and finance staff at the Innovation Center, we created a three-pronged model for sharing her work, at varying degrees of DIY to consulting. We created training and operational manuals, and created an SaaS platform out of her patient-reporting system.
At the launch of her new site, the IMPaCT manuals were downloaded by hundreds of clinical and operational staff at Health Systems and policy centers across the country. The Penn Center for Community Health Workers now employs over 70 staff at Penn Medicine, and consults with external organizations to achieve health outcomes according to their unique patient populations.