In June 2019, Quality Health Network (QHN), based in Grand Junction, CO, announced its Community Resource Network (CRN) won national second place in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Social Determinants of Health Innovation Challenge.
CRN was the first instance of the white-labeled NinePatch platform in the nation.
CRN brought home a $25,000 prize to support continued development rollout. The competition concluded with a live pitch by three teams, including QHN, to judges at the Health 2.0 conference in Santa Clara, Calif.
“This award recognizes a lot of hard work from across western Colorado to tackle the very difficult problem of how to better help care for the whole person,” says Dick Thompson, Executive Director and CEO of QHN. “CRN is at the forefront of a really exciting breakthrough that will transform how people get the care they need, whether medical, behavioral or social.”
The national competition started with 110 entries and sought to find digital solutions to help providers and those at risk connect to safety net and other services which may include social, behavioral, and medical needs. The ability to address an individual’s unmet social determinant needs, like housing and food insecurity, can contribute materially (+50%) to a person’s well-being and can improve healthcare
outcomes and reduce costs.
CRN’s development, a joint venture between QHN and Stella Technology, leverages the extensive knowledge and assets of QHN’s award-winning health information exchange infrastructures.
Thompson adds, “CRN helps create a self-organizing community-wide care team to achieve some basic goals: understanding an individual’s overall needs, leveraging the work and the relationships that are already in place, reducing duplication of services and data entry, and prioritizing actions to get the right stuff done at the right time by the right people. Ultimately, this will help keep those at risk often avoid
unnecessary and expensive acute care settings – as often as we can!”
“The development of CRN has been an amazing collaboration of community stakeholders and software developers, resulting in a ground-up approach that has service providers excited about the revolutionary possibilities of this social network exchange,” said Mike Stahl, CEO of Hilltop Community Resources and a QHN Board Member. “This ability to address and coordinate the social determinants of care will be a game-changer for our community.”