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Abra Kelson Discusses Barriers to Patient Care and Social Support Systems

Utilizing community resources is an important way to help patients who have poor social support systems get the care they need, said Abra Kelson, MSW, LSWA-IC, medical social work supervisor, Northwest Medical Specialties.


Utilizing community resources is an important way to help patients who have poor social support systems get the care they need, said Abra Kelson, MSW, LSWA-IC, medical social work supervisor, Northwest Medical Specialties.

Transcript

What are some of the biggest culprits with social needs that will interfere with patients getting care?

Definitely transportation, financials, insurance, and support systems. Who do they have that can help in their care that they can go to, to talk about what’s going on with them? Whether that’s an emotional support or a tangible support or someone who can help at home, those kinds of things. If someone has a poor support system maybe they don’t have anyone that can help—they’re low-income, they have problems with transportation. Now they’re at even more high-risk than someone with even 1 person or 2 people that can help

What is the next step you take after you identify someone with a poor social support system?

I think it’s utilizing our community resources. There’s a number of organizations that can help with in-home care, that can help with transportation. There’s volunteer programs, companion programs. I’ve utilized a lot of churches in our areas. It’s just utilizing your community to the fullest capacity because, obviously, we don’t have all their services or programs always in-house. So utilizing what’s already out there.

 
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