Live @ 2012 Ryan White: Linking to Care

Live @ 2012 Ryan White: Linking to Care

November 29, 2012
2 people

Positive Connections is a hub, of sorts, for linking and reconnecting people to HIV/AIDS care in Northern California’s Santa Clara County. The idea is that all newly-identified HIV-positive clients are engaged in care via the project. The county secured county general funds and HRSA Part A funds to set up this early intervention program. Examples of key elements of project start-up:

  • All public and private prevention and primary care providers (not just Ryan White entities) educated about the project’s intended role as hub. Half of new positives come through the public system.
  • Part A-funded entities have contract language directing that they refer patients to Positive Connections.
  • The county health department director provided leadership in educating and securing buy-in from various providers.
  • A protocol was established with the local hospital emergency room whereby their Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system was set-up to notify Positive Outcomes when an HIV-positive patient came seeking emergency care. 

Partner notification and social service linkages are provided to help patients address barriers to care, and patients receive follow-up 12-18 months beyond their first medical visit. Among the results since start-up in late 2009: Initial engagement in care for newly-positive patients increased from 25 to 75 percent.

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