Core Initiatives

Core Initiatives

Patients always come first. We are passionate about seamless care delivery to patients, with a focus on empowering patients to remain healthy at home in the community. While our portfolio is ever-changing, some of the areas we are actively involved include:

Research & Innovation

  • Digital Health Readiness: Use of telehealth has skyrocketed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet many patients face barriers to uptake related to access and digital literacy limitations. The team has ongoing work focused on ensuring digital health equity across vulnerable populations.
  • Patient Uncertainty: Patient uncertainty related to experiencing symptoms is a primary driver of decisions to seek care and a primary unmet need at the end of emergency department (ED) visits. We developed the Model of Uncertainty and Care Seeking to explain patients’ decisions to seek care, the Jefferson Uncertainty Scale to measure patient uncertainty during an acute care visit, and the Uncertainty Communication Checklist to improve communication with patients who are discharged with ongoing uncertainty. Ongoing projects continue to focus on designing interventions to help patients manage their uncertainty, with the goal of improving the patient experience while also decreasing healthcare costs through reduced need for unscheduled care.
  • Food is Medicine: Many patient experience significant challenges to achieving health goals related to the need for better access to and education about healthy food to support chronic illness. Ongoing work within this portfolio is focused on developing approaches to integrate nutrition-related services into routine care.
  • Vaccine Confidence: While widespread community vaccination is the most definitive means to ending the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals have declined vaccination because of low vaccine confidence. Data suggest that rates of confidence are lower among minority and other underserved populations, thus threatening to worsen already significant health disparities. Work in this portfolio focused on better understanding and addressing barriers to vaccine confidence among underserved populations.
  • Impact of Telehealth on Patient and System Outcomes: As telehealth is increasingly used across the clinical care spectrum to provide patient-centered care, it is important to assess the impact of telehealth initiatives on patient and health system outcomes. Our team continues to conduct multi-methods evaluations of various telehealth care models, and to incorporate telehealth as a care delivery model in prospective trials.
  • Patient Centered System Design: For this work, we focus on applying qualitative and mixed methods to elicit the patient perspective regarding needs related to seeking acute care, with a goal of informing decision of a care delivery system more responsive to individual patient needs. In addition, we are testing novel approaches to delivering improve system capacity to deliver patient-centered care.
  • Harm Reduction: Our harm reduction portfolio of research seeks to mitigate harms associated with drug use, especially as it relates to the overdose crisis. We conduct mixed-methods research related to overdose prevention, drug checking, and treatment outcomes both in and out of clinical settings. Through our harm reduction research, we hope to advance policy and other efforts to benefit the health of people who use drugs.

Community Engagement

    VaxConnect Taskforce: The Jefferson VaxConnect Taskforce is an interprofessional team dedicated to conducting widespread outreach to patients across the enterprise to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. Outreach is focused specifically on ensuring inclusion of populations in underserved zip codes and communities of color and is designed to overcome potential barriers to individual self-scheduling such as lack of internet access or MyChart use, low health literacy and vaccine confidence, and logistical challenges getting to vaccine appointments (e.g., lack of transportation).

    Digital Outreach Taskforce (DOT): The DOT is a taskforce primarily comprised of Jefferson Masters in Public Health (MPH) students who conduct outreach to Jefferson patients to provide assistance with setting up and using digital devices to engage in telehealth services. It was first convened in September 2020 to provide individualized assistance to patients to set up iPads and remote patient monitoring devices that were distributed as part of funding received by program during the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, it has conducted outreach to hundreds of patients, with outreach ongoing.