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Findings from highlighting and assessing referral platform participation (HARP): Final report

Cartier Y, Burnett J, Fichtenberg C, Ricks Stephens C, Paulson G.
Trenton Health Team

In 2020, Trenton Health Team received funding from the Aligning Systems for Health program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to understand the value of NowPow, a technology tool designed to facilitate referrals to community resources, for Trenton community-based organizations and to identify ways to increase use of NowPow among these organizations. The following are key findings from the project:

  • Trenton CBOs value the up-to-date searchable community directory, but the value of electronic referrals is less obvious, especially for organizations that don’t provide case management.
  • Pre-existing referral systems and processes, pre-existing familiarity with community resources, and stretched human resources all contribute to CBOs not adopting the community referral technology.
  • CBOs were not interested in the prospect of receiving financial incentives to use NowPow.
  • Four strategies to increase uptake (a centralized referral hub, monthly data insights, tailored training, and a communication campaign) were tested, and while some were well-received, none of these strategies were effective in increasing use of the platform.
  • Platform implementers may want to consider a slower, phased approach to implementation that focuses on organizations for whom the platform provides value. 

Cartier Y, Burnett J, Fichtenberg C, Ricks Stephens C, Paulson G. Findings from Highlighting and Assessing Referral Platform Participation (HARP): Final Report. Trenton, NJ: Trenton Health Team; May 2023. Available online.

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