Sanford Health connects patients to community resources

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

Connection within communities

The launch of Sanford Helps, a website that allows patients to connect with social care community resources, was announced by the health care provider in April 2022.

Erica DeBoer is chief nursing officer Sanford HealthSays sanfordhelps.comIt is an easy way for patients to connect to readily accessible resources wherever they live.

“When you think about how we interface with our patients, when we talk about food insecurity, when we talk about housing insecurity, financial insecurity, inability for our patients to be able to pay for their medications and things, it’s sometimes a hard conversation to have with your caregivers,”She explained.

She said that the program assists providers by helping them to identify what patients may require in their communities.

“It helps us navigate and gives us concrete data about what people are searching for,”DeBoer stated.

“Community resources are constantly updated to be sure that everything’s fresh and up to date,”She added.

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Available to everyone

Lindsay Daniels, Sanford Health’s system executive director for Care Management, stated that Sanford Helps is user-friendly. Patients can access the resource via an after-visit summary or their own website. My Sanford Chartaccount and via sanfordhealth.org. Then, they can enter their ZIP code to see which programs are available at no cost or reduced costs.

This resource is available to all people, not just current Sanford Health patients.

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

“We look at a patient’s holistic story. When it’s hard to get to medical appointments, get to work, if you don’t have stable housing or access to food, it all factors into your health. We have to address 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 any one department’s responsibility. Every Sanford employee plays a role.

“It’s not just mine as an RN case manager, or the social worker,”She said. “We all play a part in it. Sanford Helps makes it extremely easy for, say, the radiology technician, who’s bringing someone back for a mammography who may have disclosed to them they might be struggling with food insecurity, to point them to the Sanford Helps information on their after-visit summary.

“A provider or nurse navigating on behalf of a patient can access the link and based on their individual needs refer them directly through the site to that organization. The site is also translated into multiple languages and allows staff to text or email organization’s information to the patient, as well as printing. Improving equitable access to the resources,” Daniels said.

Find support when it’s needed

Financial hardships can happen. Daniels said if a patient is going through a difficult time financially, more than anything, she wants them to know they aren’t alone.

“There’s so many of us in our nation today who are struggling financially, and it becomes worse by the day. If you haven’t dealt with that, someone very close to you likely has experienced it. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. There are amazing people and organizations in every one of our communities that are here to help people in those situations,”Daniels.

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Behavioral Health, Community, Company News, We are here for everyone. Here for good., News, Rural Health


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