Pediatric Caregiver Perspectives Regarding Use of an Electronic Resource Map to Address Unmet Social Needs

Pilot Project

Pediatric Caregiver Perspectives Regarding Use of an Electronic Resource Map to Address Unmet Social Needs

Poverty and associated social determinants of health adversely impact children’s health and development and can exacerbate existing disparities in health outcomes and access to care for vulnerable children and families. The American Academy of Pediatrics therefore recommends that pediatricians incorporate routine social needs screening into their clinical practice. However, previous studies of screening coupled with telephonic resource referral have shown limited efficacy in linking families to resources, and it remains unclear how to most effectively leverage screening results to help families in need. At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), we have partnered with Aunt Bertha, an online platform that compiles information about social service organizations by geographic area, to create a customized, region-specific electronic resource map designed to help families identify and locate community programs and services targeted to their needs.

In this study, I aim to use semi-structured interviews and telephonic surveys with caregivers of pediatric patients at CHOP to (1) explore feasibility and acceptability of using this electronic resource map to identify community resources, (2) measure rates of successful linkage with resources, and (3) understand caregivers’ perceived barriers to and facilitators of linkage with resources. This study will improve our understanding of how social needs screening and referral programs can best meet families’ needs and lead to the development of referral workflows that optimize caregivers’ rates of linkage with resources. Our findings will inform the design and implementation of impactful patient and family-centered social needs screening and referral programs both here in Philadelphia and across the country