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Strengths, challenges, and gaps in linkage to primary care among hospitalized individuals who are homeless in Vancouver, British Columbia

Strengths, challenges, and gaps in linkage to primary care among hospitalized individuals who are... Individuals who are homeless in the Canadian city of Vancouver, British Columbia have an increasing burden of chronic medical conditions, resulting in rising use of hospital services. Although continued efforts have been made to improve accessibility, barriers to primary care linkage and utilization still exist. Our study explored the strengths, barriers, and gaps in how inpatients who are homeless are connected to primary care through semi-structured qualitative interviews with patients (n = 22) and healthcare providers (n = 7) with experience in caring for patients who are homeless. Patients identified cell phone ownership and use of commitment devices as strengths, while clinics with long wait times, or those proximal to areas of prevalent drug use, were seen as barriers. Providers perceived that low priority was given to primary care linkage within hospitals, and that early and bidirectional communication with hospital staff is vital, particularly around discharge planning. Patients and providers then identified major gaps in service, which included a need for peer health navigation, technology-assisted outreach, and improved service distribution. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Social Distress and Homeless Taylor & Francis

Strengths, challenges, and gaps in linkage to primary care among hospitalized individuals who are homeless in Vancouver, British Columbia

Strengths, challenges, and gaps in linkage to primary care among hospitalized individuals who are homeless in Vancouver, British Columbia

Abstract

Individuals who are homeless in the Canadian city of Vancouver, British Columbia have an increasing burden of chronic medical conditions, resulting in rising use of hospital services. Although continued efforts have been made to improve accessibility, barriers to primary care linkage and utilization still exist. Our study explored the strengths, barriers, and gaps in how inpatients who are homeless are connected to primary care through semi-structured qualitative interviews with patients...
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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN
1573-658X
eISSN
1053-0789
DOI
10.1080/10530789.2019.1648730
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Individuals who are homeless in the Canadian city of Vancouver, British Columbia have an increasing burden of chronic medical conditions, resulting in rising use of hospital services. Although continued efforts have been made to improve accessibility, barriers to primary care linkage and utilization still exist. Our study explored the strengths, barriers, and gaps in how inpatients who are homeless are connected to primary care through semi-structured qualitative interviews with patients (n = 22) and healthcare providers (n = 7) with experience in caring for patients who are homeless. Patients identified cell phone ownership and use of commitment devices as strengths, while clinics with long wait times, or those proximal to areas of prevalent drug use, were seen as barriers. Providers perceived that low priority was given to primary care linkage within hospitals, and that early and bidirectional communication with hospital staff is vital, particularly around discharge planning. Patients and providers then identified major gaps in service, which included a need for peer health navigation, technology-assisted outreach, and improved service distribution.

Journal

Journal of Social Distress and HomelessTaylor & Francis

Published: Jul 2, 2020

Keywords: Homeless persons; primary health care; health services accessibility; health care transition; continuity of patient care

References