Researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine found that when patients are given personalized information about community resources to support their medical self-management, almost half said they shared the resources with at least one other person. The results, published July 31 in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, show how patients can act as important information ambassadors promoting health and welfare resources within their own communities.
The study evaluated survey data from a past clinical trial on CommunityRx, a population health tool developed in a multi-stakeholder collaboration led by University of Chicago researchers that included local community health centers and other community organizations. Through CommunityRx, patients are given personalized information about nearby community-based resources they can access to address their specific health and social needs. Dubbed a “HealtheRx,” the personalized list can provide a variety of resources, including details on where to purchase medical supplies, information on healthy cooking and fitness classes, mental health services, and even organizations that can assist with social needs, such as rent assistance.