Building Relationships Into Care Delivery to Grow Equity (BRIDGE)​

Principal Investigator (PI): Dr. Jeffery Panzer, Dr. Emily Stiehl (Heartland Health Centers)

Research Model

The “Relationship-Based Care Model” leverages care team coordinators (CTCs) to serve as patient liaison, guide, coordinator, and coach throughout the care experience, and measure whether this relationship-based care model leads to improved care.

Evaluation Approach

The goal of this project is to compare and contrast the referral use and outcomes, and patient-level use of indicators of quality (e.g., recommended cancer and mental health screenings, outcomes indicating chronic disease management, and avoidance of inappropriate medication prescriptions), as well as patients’ perceptions of health knowledge, care team empathy, and their ability to follow a care plan from 3 sites within Heartland Health Centers.

Contribution to HSTRC’s Research Agenda 

  • Describe implementation of an innovative two-caregiver (provider + CTC) model using a comprehensive, integrated approach in outpatient clinics that care predominantly for Medicaid patients
  • Measure whether this relationship-based (focused on relationships rather than transactions) care model leads to improved preventive care, chronic disease management, and better linkage to social services
  • Evaluate the impacts of this care model on patient knowledge, patient satisfaction, and whether patients wholistic social needs are addressed
  • Examine how a two-caregiver model can enhance learning, problem-solving, and understanding among providers, CTCs, and patients