Sanford, Society connects patients to community resources

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There’s a new resource to help Sanford Health patients find world-class care, no matter their situation.

Connection within communities

In April 2022, the healthcare provider announced the launch of Sanford Helps, a website to better connect patients to community social care resources.

Erica DeBoer, chief nursing officer at Sanford Health, says sanfordhelps.com is a non-threatening way for patients to be connected to resources that are easily accessible where they live.

“When you think about how we interact with our patients, when we talk about food insecurity, when we talk about housing insecurity, financial insecurity, our patients’ inability to pay for their medications and such, sometimes it’s a difficult conversation to have with your caregivers,” she explained.

She said the program assists providers, helping them see what patients may need within their communities.

“It helps us navigate and gives us hard data on what people are looking for,” DeBoer said.

“Community resources are constantly being updated to make sure everything is fresh and up to date,” she added.

Accessible to everyone

Lindsay Daniels is the System Executive Director for Managed Care at Sanford Health and said Sanford Helps is user-friendly. Patients can access the resource from a post-visit summary, their My Sanford Chart account, and through sanfordhealth.org. They then enter their zip code and can see free or discounted programs available nearby.

The community resource is available to anyone in need, not just current Sanford Health patients.

Daniels said she’s proud to work for a healthcare provider that prioritizes meeting patients where they are.

“We look at a patient’s holistic story. When it’s difficult to get to medical appointments, to get to work, if you don’t have stable housing or access to food, it all plays into your health. We have to meet the basic needs of a population before we can make them healthy,” she said.

When it comes to connecting patients to social care resources within their communities, Daniels said it’s not the responsibility of just one department. Everyone at Sanford plays a role.

“It’s not just mine as an RN case manager or social worker,” she said. “We all play a part in it. Sanford Helps makes it extremely easy, for example, for the X-ray technician, who brings someone in for a mammogram that may have revealed to them that they might be struggling with food insecurity, to tell them Sanford Helps information about their summary after visit.

“A provider or nurse browsing on behalf of a patient can access the link and, depending on their individual needs, direct them directly through the site to that organization. The site is also translated into several languages ​​and allows staff to send information about the organization to the patient by SMS or e-mail, as well as to print it. Improving equitable access to resources,” Daniels said.

Find help when needed

Financial difficulties are not uncommon. Daniels said if a patient is going through a tough time financially, more than anything, she wants them to know they’re not alone.

“There are so many of us in our country today who are struggling financially, and it’s getting worse every day. If you haven’t dealt with this, someone very close to you probably lived it. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. There are amazing people and organizations in each of our communities that are there to help people in these situations,” Daniels said.

Learn more

Posted in Behavioral Health, Community, Company News, Here for All. Here for Good., News, Rural Health

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