The theme of this year’s National Health Center Week, “Celebrating Health Centers: Home of America’s Health Care Heroes,” has got us thinking about all of the ways health centers and their staff go above and beyond to treat the more than 27 million patients they see each year.
Did you know that health centers have expanded their capacity to provide more services onsite? Or that health centers have higher rates of accepting new patients compared to other primary care providers? Health centers also provide more preventive services than other primary care providers and health center patients are more satisfied with the overall care they receive compared with low-income patients nationally. (These stats and more are all included in our new Community Health Center Chartbook).
What is the secret formula for those high satisfaction levels? Health center staff always try to find the extra time to spend with their patients to address their whole health needs. They bend time and are pros at maximizing the time their patients spend in the office. The coordinated care model health centers have established means that they try to ensure patients see as many relevant providers as possible in a single visit. Health centers also know that strict 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekday hours can be inconvenient for working patients, so some offer late night and even weekend hours. It’s no wonder that when we recently asked health center staff on social media, “What’s your #CHCSuperPower? If you could choose any superpower to help with your health center work, which would you choose?,” most people said time manipulation.
Just imagine how much more health centers and their staff could do if they weren’t facing staffing shortages! What’s YOUR #CHCSuperPower? What do you think are the characteristics you’ll find in a Health Center Hero?
We’ve got lots of fun things going on leading up to and beyond #NHCW18. Next up: Don’t forget to vote for the Health Center Hero Award on NACHC’s Facebook page going on now. The Health Center Hero will be announced on Honoring Health Center Heroes Day, Monday, August 13 during National Health Center Week.