As a community, aligning efforts across a community to support the safety and well-being of vulnerable and underserved individuals is extraordinarily difficult. These individuals suffer disproportionally from health issues, job loss, a lack of stable housing, high utility costs, substance abuse, and homelessness. In addition to medical care, these individuals often critically need access to community social sector organizations that provide a distinct and complementary set of services, such as housing, food services, emergency utility assistance, and employment assistance. These services are just as vital as healthcare services to these individuals’ long-term health and well-being, with data suggesting that 80–90% of health outcomes can be attributed to factors beyond direct medical intervention.

This book proposes a novel approach to the coordination of medicine and social services through the use of people, process, and technology, with the goal being to streamline coordination between medical and Community-Based Organizations and to promote true cross-sector patient and client advocacy. The book is based on the experience of Dallas, TX, which was one of the first metropolitan regions to develop a comprehensive foundation for partnership between a community’s clinical and social sectors using web-based information exchange. In the 5 years since the initial launch, the authors have been able to provide seamless connection, communication, and coordination between healthcare providers and a wide array of community-based social service organizations (a/k/a Community-Based Organizations or CBOs), criminal justice entities, and various other community organizations, including non-collegiate educational systems.

This practical how-to guide is the codification of transferrable lessons from successes and challenges faced when working with clinical, community, and government leaders. By reading this playbook, leaders interested in building (or expanding) connected clinical-community services will learn how to: 1) facilitate cross-sector care coordination; 2) enable community care partners to better provide targeted services to community residents; 3) reduce duplication of services across partnering organizations; and 4) help to bridge service gaps in the currently fragmented system. Implementation of services, as recommended in this book, will ultimately streamline assistance efforts, reduce repeat crises and emergency funding requests, help address disparities of care, and improve the health, safety, and well-being of the most vulnerable community residents.

chapter 1|11 pages

Playbook Overview

chapter 2|14 pages

The Readiness Assessment

chapter 3|54 pages

Governance Track

chapter 4|35 pages

Legal/Policy Track

chapter 5|37 pages

Technology Platform Track

chapter 6|22 pages

Clinical Providers Track

chapter 7|30 pages

Community Partners Track

chapter 8|21 pages

Program Sustainability Track

chapter 9|2 pages

Final Notes

chapter |47 pages

Key Documents