Engaging Health Care Volunteers to Pursue the Triple Aim

Introduction

Health care is changing as never before. New reimbursement models, pressure to reduce costs, increased emphasis on prevention and relentless focus on the patient experience and clinical outcomes require attention to patients and families in new ways.

As hospitals, health systems and other providers navigate this evolution, health care volunteers stand out as key contributors in the success of pursuing the Triple Aim, a framework developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement that outlines an approach for maximizing the performance of the health care system. The intent is that every activity or process be aligned with these three domains:

  • Improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction);
  • Improving the health of populations; and
  • Reducing the per-capita cost of health care.

High-performing health care organizations are striving to adhere to these principles as they seek to best serve their patients, families and communities.

This resource showcases how Volunteer Services strategically supports the Triple Aim. The information comes from interviews with volunteers, auxilians, directors of volunteer services and chief executive officers, who shared critical success factors in engaging volunteers in these efforts. It features case examples depicting how volunteers support the Triple Aim, including programs dedicated to:

  • Reducing avoidable readmissions
  • Improving the patient experience
  • Improving HCAHPS scores
  • Enhancing community engagement
  • Improving quality
  • Increasing health care access
  • Lowering health care costs
  • Improving patient safety

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