Continuum of Care: CHWs in the Clinic
The 2013 study of Muso’s health system conducted by Harvard and UCSF documented a 10X increase in access to care after the roll-out of the Muso Model. Increased usage brings to the clinic patients who are not familiar with how such facilities operate. Often this unfamiliarity with the health system could lead to frustrating or embarrassing experiences: where do I wait and for how long? Who should I talk to? Where do I get my medicine? Is this the correct medicine, how frequently should I be taking it, and how much does it cost? Without accompaniment, some patients may feel so overwhelmed that they do not return to the clinic again.
To improve patient experience and orientation, Muso places Community Health Workers on ‘rotation’ in the health centers where we operate. Every day, a group of CHWs station themselves near the entrance of the clinic, to orient people who aren’t sure where to go, and to answer any questions they may have. When new and returning patients have a better idea of what to expect and where to go, they invest their trust in the health system, encouraging repeat visits without hesitation in the case of an illness.
Once a patient has been seen by clinic staff, CHWs work one-on-one with patients to make sure they have received the medicine prescribed. Our CHWs write dosage frequency on the packaging in clear markings to denote morning or night, and number of instances. They verbally explain dosages as well: two in the morning? Once daily? One in the morning, one at night? Muso CHWs help new and returning patients make sense of their doctor’s orders.
In Muso’s Proactive Care model, 1) CHWs walk door-to-door to find sick patients in the community, 2) patients are treated in their homes, or in more severe cases are referred or taken directly to the clinic where they’ll be greeted by other Muso CHWs on rotation, who direct them to care, and 3) user fees are eliminated at all levels of care. The final step in our continuum of care: CHWs monitor patient recovery back at homes, during their daily door-to-door visits. We stay with every patient from the first symptoms of illness through to their full recovery or follow-up treatment.
Learn more about the impact of our model here.