This month, CTC-RI interviewed Emma B. Romey, LMSW, Associate Director of Customer Success at Unite Us, a technology platform used by a growing number of primary care practices, community-based organizations, and community health teams. Unite Us, highlighted during our recent Clinical Strategy Meeting and Nurse Care Manager/Care Coordinator Best Practice Sharing meetings, is helping care teams continue to advance and coordinate primary care through use of increased digital technology.
Can you tell us about the work you are doing here in RI to help primary care practices, community-based organizations, and community health teams?
Unite Rhode Island is a coordinated care network of health and social service providers. Partners in the network are connected through Unite Us’ shared technology platform, which enables them to send and receive electronic referrals, address people’s social needs and improve health across communities. Unite Rhode Island is sponsored by Prospect Health Services RI, Inc., Rhode Island Office of Veterans Services, Lifespan Health System, Coastal Medical, and the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services. United Way of Rhode Island serves as a key convener and their 2-1-1 is a coordination center for the network. The network is supported by a RI-based Unite Us team focused on community engagement, network health and optimization, and customer success. Joining the network is at no cost for community-based organizations and many organizations that are considered part of the safety net, such as community health centers, tribal clinics, and mental health centers.
How is Unite Us helping transform primary care, and the way practices and organizations can better support RI patients?
Rhode Island partners with various primary care practices, specifically through our work with the Accountable Entities. The Unite Us customer success and community engagement teams support clinical teams in building out workflows, training staff and assisting with following up on electronic referrals that are made to community-based organizations. Unite Us Platform enables primary care staff to search and filter for best-fit organizations, confirm eligibility criteria, send referrals, confirm acceptance of those referrals, and ultimately see the documented outcome. This closed loop referral process provides clinical staff visibility into their patients’ care as social needs are being met throughout the community.
What's a misconception or a surprising fact about Unite Us that our primary care community may not know?
There are often concerns that community-based organizations face many barriers that would prevent them from joining a coordinated care network like this. The Unite Rhode Island network currently has 190+ unique organization locations active in the platform, with 1,000+ trained users and 300+ programs offering a variety of services that cover our 200+ services types. These numbers continue to grow each week as more organizations join, and if an organization is not yet live in the platform, or "in-network", a primary care user can still document where the referral was sent so that all data points are captured in the same place.