Improving Healthcare in the Phoenix Homeless Population Through Triple Aim-Focused Interprofessional Practice
Introduction. Evidence shows that the United States' healthcare system is inefficient and lacks the quality and cost-effectiveness of other systems. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement outlined the Triple Aim to improve the healthcare system through 1) improvement of population health for a defined population, 2) enhance the patient care experience, and 3) reduce per capita cost of care. The World Health Organization has identified interprofessional practice (IPP) and interprofessional education (IPE) as a possible approach to achieve the Triple Aim. The Student Health Outreach for Wellness (SHOW) initiative is an interprofessional free clinic and outreach initiative for individuals experiencing homelessness. The goal of the current study was to evaluate whether interprofessional care delivery through SHOW moved SHOW's practice towards the Triple Aim for SHOW's defined population. Methods and Results. Data assessing adherence to Triple Aim goals of population health and costs of care were collected from voluntary post-visit patient satisfaction surveys, while data assessing patient experience were collected from shift rosters of SHOW versus a similar non-interprofessional clinic. SHOW, on average, provided access to more disciplines than a similar non-interprofessional clinic. Access to care cost savings was assessed by surveying patients on where they would have sought care elsewhere SHOW had not been available ; of the 53 patients surveyed, 14 indicated they would have gone to the emergency department (ED); in all, SHOW diverted a little over $30,000 in patient ED visits. Improved health outcomes were measured by each patient's self-perception of his/her health. 91% of patients agreed or strongly agreed that their health had been improved by coming to the clinic. Conclusion. Preliminary data suggest that SHOW's IPP care delivery results in high patient satisfaction rates and positive self-perception of health outcomes, thus may improve the patient experience and minimize costs of care by deterring ED visits within the population. Further studies are needed to determine how specific aspects of interprofessional care can further move towards Triple Aim objectives.