Journal Articles

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Frontiers in Health Sciences


INTRODUCTION: A multitude of HRSN interventions are undergoing testing in the U.S., with the CMS Accountable Health Communities (AHC) Model as the largest. HRSN interventions typically include screening for social needs, referral to community resources, and patient navigation to ensure needs are met. There is currently a paucity of evidence on implementation of HRSN interventions. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) is a determinant framework widely used to plan and assess implementation. to the authors knowledge, there are no published studies assessing CFIR constructs for HRSN intervention implementation in the U.S. In the Assessment step of the Strengthening Peer AHC Navigation (SPAN) model, a between-site qualitative assessment methodology was used to examine implementation within and between AHC bridge organizations (BOs) within six ERIC implementation strategies identified by the authors based on AHC Model requirements.

OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to identify and present between-site barriers and facilitators to AHC Model implementation strategies.

DESIGN: A multi-site qualitative analysis methodology was used. CFIR determinants were linked to six Expert Recommendations for Implementing Change (ERIC) strategies: staff training, identify and prepare champions, facilitation, community resource engagement (alignment through advisory boards and working groups), data systems, and quality monitoring and assurance. Interviews were analyzed using thematic content analysis in NVivo 12 (QSR International).

SETTING: Five health-related bridge organizations participating in the AHC Model.

RESULTS: Fifty-eight interviews were completed with 34 staff and 24 patients or patient proxies. Facilitators were identified across five of the six ERIC strategies. Barriers were identified across all six. While organizations found the AHC Model compatible and facilitators to implementation included previous experience, meeting patient needs and resources, and leadership engagement and support, a number of barriers presented challenges to implementation. Issues with adequate staff training, staff skills to resolve HRSN, including patient communication and boundary spanning, setting staff goals, beneficiary caseloads and measurement of progress, data infrastructure (including EHR), available resources to implement and differences in perceptions between clinical delivery site (CDS), and CSP of how to measure and resolve HRSN.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: The conduct of a pre-implementation readiness assessment benefited from identifying CFIR determinants linked to various ERIC implementation strategies.


Accountable Health Communities Model, Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, cross-site analysis, essential elements, implementation barriers and facilitators

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