Henry Ford Macomb Faith Community Health Program is in the National Spotlight

June 04, 2012

A web-based health care documentation system developed by the Henry Ford Macomb Faith Community Health Program has been so successful, it caught the attention of organizers of a national symposium recently convened on the White House Campus.

The Feb. 16-17 conference was titled “Improving Health Outcomes Through Faith-Based and Community Partnerships: Best Practices from Health Systems in the Field.” Ameldia Brown, RN, Director of Henry Ford Macomb Faith Community Health, led a discussion called “Tracking Data and Evaluation – Making the Case for Community Partnerships.”

Brown was invited based on the work accomplished by the Henry Ford Macomb Faith Community Nursing Network. The Network partners with congregations to develop whole person health ministries that enhance health and well-being and relieve suffering among congregation members and the community.

“We support a large corps of volunteer nurses who reach out to people in their community who need extra support to manage their health,” Ameldia said. “It may be as simple as checking their blood pressure or as complex as helping them, along with their physician, manage congestive heart failure. Our nurses stay in contact with these clients and can encourage them to stay on track with their plan of care or make a doctor’s appointment if there is an issue. The end result is problems are caught when they are more manageable and there are fewer trips to the ER and fewer hospitalizations.”

Henry Ford Macomb Faith Community Health has been a model for the development of similar networks across the nation with hundreds of nurses in 11 states using Henry Ford Macomb’s web-based documentation system.

“The web-based documentation system allows our nurses to document and track their work with clients. It is a way to quantitatively show how an ER visit or hospital admission was avoided and the related cost savings.”

Brown said already since the conference, she has had three requests from various parts of the country to get information in anticipation of betting on board with the documentation tool.

In addition to significant health care cost savings for patients and heath care providers, data from more than 50 congregations over the last five years has shown more than 751,900 group contacts for education, screening and support and more than 20,600 individual contacts (4,972 clients) for care of episodic and chronic disease conditions. Seventy percent of these contacts are 66 years of age or older. Lives have been saved, support has been given to the chronically ill and dying, and health promotion through lifestyle changes has become a priority in the majority of the congregations.