Trust between health care and community organizations


The development of effective partnerships between health care organizations, such as hospitals and community health centers, and community organizations, such as public health departments and social services, is an important priority because of 3 converging factors: (1) the recognition that social needs, such as housing and food insecurity, have significant effects on health outcomes; (2) the shift toward value-based care and alternative payment models, which drive attention to social needs; and (3) a bipartisan focus on building a more healthy society and improving community health.
Health care organizations need to have trusted relationships with communities to achieve better outcomes. While community organizations may lack resources, they have other assets that health care organizations require, including long-term, trusting relationships with their members, levers for policy change, and experience with cross-sector partnerships. However, health care organizations have often entered into such partnerships unaware of preexisting community processes, the effect of its disproportionate power, or the needs and assets of the community organizations and their members, thereby eroding trust and willingness to partner. Thus, it is important for health care organizations to forge complementary partnerships with community-based organizations in ways that build trust.

Stout SS, Simpson LA, Singh P. Trust between health care and community organizations. JAMA. 2019. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 31180461. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2019.1211.

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