The eyes may be windows to the soul, but the mouth is the gateway to the entire body. That’s because dental healthcare can be a gauge of overall health. However, too often, those living in underserved communities don’t have access to the necessary care. That’s why it’s vital for government agencies and municipalities to partner with experienced organizations like Solvere Health that can develop a community-first approach to dental healthcare.
Considering each area’s unique situational constraints and challenges, it’s important to develop a detailed plan that will encourage trial of the dental healthcare service and nurture the future participation of community members. Based on years of experience, these ideas from Solvere Health will help ensure the success of a community-first dental healthcare program.
Meeting the Patient Where They Are
Often, though grounded in good intentions, organizations may begin with a particular clinic delivery model in mind. For example, a municipality may have acquired a mobile health unit before fully grasping a specific community’s delivery needs and constraints. A seasoned strategic partner, however, will encourage a community-based approach to solution planning, especially when addressing gaps in rural healthcare.
The first step is to understand the demographics and psychographics of the patient base. Next is consideration of any area-specific challenges that arise from
- infrastructure (i.e., technology, transportation, roadways)
- clinician availability
- public funding
- insurance reimbursement, including Medicare/Medicaid
- HIPAA and other regulatory compliance
All of these factors inform the strategic recommendation and configuration of service delivery.
Comprehensive Strategies Include Community Outreach
With community needs identified, organizations must develop a plan to build trust and encourage trial for services. This may include initiatives such as publicly-shared patient education campaigns featuring educational videos about the quality of life impact of regular dental health care. Additionally, it may be beneficial to host free or low-cost dental education events in schools or public facilities to expand adoption of the planned dental care offerings. An experienced partner like Solvere Health brings frontline insight to the collaboration for identifying the optimal variety of outreach to encourage community participation.
Management & Measurement
Finally, organizations sponsoring dental healthcare events must take care that these services are managed and monitored effectively. An experienced partner will ensure clear protocols for patient privacy and safety, as well as their intake, treatment plans, and follow-up. An effective partner provides detailed direction on the technology required to keep patient records updated and secure. Additionally, there must be tracking mechanisms in place to collect key performance indicators such as utilization rates and patient satisfaction to measure the success of the services provided.
By developing a holistic, community-first approach to dental healthcare, government agencies and organizations can ensure that those living in underserved communities have access to the care they need for better overall health. With careful planning and effective management strategies, these organizations can develop successful programs that will benefit their patient base for years.
To get started on strategizing and implementing an all-inclusive community-first dental care plan, contact Solvere Health today. We specialize in rural healthcare solutions that include mobile dental care, pop-up dental clinics, and the establishment of brick-and-mortar dental locations for underserved patient populations.