Improving Technology‐Driven Patient Care Coordination: Toward a Techne for Community‐Based Organization Involvement

Published date01 December 2019
Date01 December 2019
AuthorDawn S. Opel
doi: 10.1002/wmh3.324
© 2019 Policy Studies Organization
Improving TechnologyDriven Patient Care
Coordination: Toward a Techne for CommunityBased
Organization Involvement
Dawn S. Opel
Healthcare systems increasingly collect and aggregate patient data from electronic medical record
systems to aid in their decision making. Communitybased organizations that support patientshealth
and wellbeing have been left behind in the development and use of technologies for coordinating
patient care, despite policies that encourage crosssector coordination. This article presents the au-
thors work as a rhetorician on a communityengaged action research project to seek grant funding
and healthcare partners to implement a tool that enables communitybased organization professionals
to connect to healthcare providers to coordinate care for underresourced older adult patients. The
teams practices from the project are used to inform a techne, or set of rhetorical strategies, for
communitybased organizations to participate in population health management initiatives. Under-
standing these strategies as a techne to train other communitybased organizations to participate in
crosssector initiatives may be critical to effectuating the goals of the Affordable Care Act and other
health policies that seek to improve populationlevel health outcomes.
KEY WORDS: social determinants of health, techne, care coordination
Introduction: Addressing the Social Determinants of Health through
TechnologyDriven Initiatives
Recent U.S. health policy data reveals that its healthcare system remains in
crisis. Even with increased insurance coverage under the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act (2014), millions remain uninsured and underinsured, costs are
rising while choice in and quality of care are decreasing (Himmelstein, Woolhan-
dler, Almberg, & Fauke, 2017). The Affordable Care Act was meant to address
healthcare delivery improvement, using a paradigm called the Triple Aim.In
2008, Berwick, Nolan, and Whittington (2008, p. 760)introduced the Triple Aim
concept, a set of linked goals to improve the American healthcare system by
improving the individual experience of care; improving the health of populations;
and reducing the per capita costs of care for populations.What differentiated the
Triple Aim from other healthcare improvement strategies was its focus at the level
of patient populations. Population health management (PHM)has emerged as a set
of tactics by which to enact the Triple Aim. While PHM practices may differ from
site to site, most involve the pursuit of (i)improvements in healthcare at the

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