SRF035: Implementation and evaluation of pilot program providing patient navigation to individuals experiencing homelessness

Alison Liu, MD; Brayden Seal; Akshat Patel; Tri Pham, BA; Kevin Ma; Natalie Bonner, MS; Ashlyn Lafferty; Nicholas Campalans, BS; Thanos Rossopoulos, MD; Umaru Barrie, BS; Nora Gimpel, MD; Philip Day, PhD


Context: Individuals experiencing homelessness demonstrate higher incidence of disease, limited access to healthcare, and overall poorer health outcomes. The unique obstacles faced by homeless populations require novel solutions in order to reduce barriers to care and ensure timely delivery of health services. A novel student-led Patient Navigator Program (PNP) connects persons experiencing homelessness to community resources and services specific to each patient’s individualized goals and health needs. A pilot is underway to evaluate program design and readiness for implementation on a large scale. Objective: Evaluate the effectiveness of a pilot patient navigator program and provide recommendations for implementation on a large scale. Human subjects review: Non-regulated research. Design: Retrospective study of pilot program data for Quality Improvement purposes. Setting: Union Gospel Mission (UGM) shelters in Dallas, TX. Participants: Nine residents at UGM. Main and secondary outcome measures: Main outcomes include the number of successful patient-navigator encounters, and completion of patient-individualized goals. Secondary outcomes include patient attitudes and self-efficacy scores, as measured by pre- and post-surveys. Anticipated results: We anticipate that patients enrolled in PNP will demonstrate increased connection with and knowledge of applicable community resources, as well as successful completion of the majority of individualized goals aligning with program-standardized objectives previously determined to improve health outcomes. Conclusion: A core challenge in achieving health equity is addressing the specific barriers to care faced by individuals experiencing homelessness. The PNP pilot is the beginning of a sustainable community impact in improving health outcomes among individuals experiencing homelessness.

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