More than a Database: Understanding Community Resource Referrals within a Broader Framework
HITEQ Highlights Webinar
Addressing patients’ social determinants of health via community resource referrals has historically primarily been the domain of social workers and information and referral specialists; however, community resource referral technology platforms have more recently entered the market. The process surrounding these community resource referrals and the role of technologies within it has not been fully accounted for just yet. Based on focus groups with healthcare providers, and community organization staff and volunteers from 3 cities in Metropolitan Detroit, the process of community resource referral were described. Findings reveal a deeply "sociotechnical" process (involving interwoven social and technology-based elements). The detailed sociotechnical process revealed were discussed, along with the implications for those currently implementing community resource referrals. The importance of knowledge and skills, personal relationships, interorganizational networks, and data sources such as service directories in the referral process were discussed.