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Research focuses on trust, engagement

Research focuses on trust, engagement
Caring for rural, aging populations is at the center of a study developed by the Stephens Family Clinical Research Institute and the Siebel Center for Design at the University of Illinois.
The early-stage project used design thinking, which combines the human point of view with what is possible. In other words, what do rural, aging patients see as needed to build upon the trust Carle already has. The study targeted older individuals living in rural areas and who consented to being in the study.
 “A common theme was not only how we establish trust of more than an individual doctor, but also of a health system,” Jennifer Eardley, PhD, vice president of Research at Carle said. “It gives the organization a different perspective on what it has to do in developing trust with patients.”
Elderly subjects met with representatives of the Siebel Center for Design to express their perspectives. Participants represent the central Illinois region, from the west (Bethany, Lexington and Monticello), to the east (Hoopeston and Paris) and to the south (Olney, Dundas and Robinson
Also included in the study were Carle leaders, health care providers, community members and caregivers.
More than looking at trend data, the research approach helps to understand needs and perspectives of patients. Overall findings indicate older people and those who live in rural areas are proud of their communities. In addition, trust in the health system was highly valued. Some mentioned they already have a strong sense of trust in Carle. Therefore, the overall recommendation was to find other ways to continue fostering this trust as a foundation for improving communication with elderly and rural populations.
Many contacted said they prefer in-person care because they want a personal relationship with their provider. Vice President of Regional Health and Carle Richland CEO Harry Brockus said this perspective is the norm in most rural communities including those we serve.
“However, with transportation challenges and increased patient needs for access, we need to focus on building virtual care platforms that meet patient needs while building trust in the use of innovative technologies,” Brockus said.
The findings can help a provider reset their thinking and guide patient interaction.
“For instance, a referral to a dietitian may not be enough and the doctor should also consider what influences a patient’s dietary choices,” Sally Salmons, MD, Associate Chief Medical Officer for Primary Care said. “A patient’s lifestyle, values and how we help them engage in their health are all considerations. As a physician, hopefully this will broaden horizons and bring about more effective patient care.”
The Innovations in Medical Research Award is made possible by Stephens Family Innovations in Medical Research fund through Carle Health Center for Philanthropy. The award is designed to provide foundational support to early-stage research.

Categories: Culture of Quality, Redefining Healthcare, News

Tags: Geriatrics, Research, Rural