Interprofessional Student Hotspotting Learning Collaborative

Program Overview

The Interprofessional Student Hotspotting Learning Collaborative is an annual program that trains interdisciplinary teams of professional students from schools around the country to learn to work with complex medical and social needs using a patient-centered approach.

The six-month program, co-hosted by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Primary Care Progress, National Academies of Practice (NAP) , Council on Social Work Education and American Association of Colleges of Nursing provides education and support to teams as they connect with patients, learn about the root causes of high healthcare utilization, and share this learning with their institutions. Teams participate in online curriculum and monthly case conferencing, and receive mentoring and a curriculum learning guide.
The Student Hotspotting program is part of the Coalition’s efforts to educate and provide mentorship for the next generation of healthcare professionals in Camden and beyond.

In 2017, our National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs launched four Hotspotting Hubs to serve as centers of training and mentorship for the schools in their regions. The four Hotspotting Hubs are Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA; Southern Illinois University in Springfield, IL; University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT; and Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA. Read more about the launch of the Hotspotting Hubs here.

2019-2020 applications for Student Hotspotting are now open. Applications will be enrolled on a rolling basis. Final application deadline: May 31, 2019. Selected students teams will be notified by June 14, 2019.

Hotspotting Intervention
1. Identifying Patients- Partner with area hospitals, insurance companies, PCP practices or their institution’s QI department to access raw patient data. Use guidelines to target and identify 3-5 patients to engage.

2. Establish relationships- Make first contact with patients while they are in the hospital; establish a relationship and explain the purpose of engaging in intervention. Make plans to visit the patient in their home or other safe space where the patient feels comfortable. Building trust is critical as patients proceed through the intervention.

3. Create care plan- Help patients uncover the cause of their over-utilization of healthcare service. Create a plan to tackle these issues, and help motivate patient to take charge of their health by educating and setting achievable goals. Focus on creating links to social supports and primary care physician. Calling upon team’s interdisciplinary knowledge is key!

4. Support and navigate care plan- Student teams guide patients as they navigate the social service system and attend medical appointments. Teams also provide guidance and support as patients learn to take on more active role in their healthcare.

5. Final report- Students record their experience and relay patient stories in a final report.

Student learning
• Barriers to care
• Data’s role in healthcare intervention
• Importance of coordinated care and patient-centered approach
• Value of interdisciplinary collaboration
• Patient experiences and stories

Patient outcomes
• Improved patient quality of life
• Improved medical and behavioral health knowledge
• Increased social support
• Increased utilization of primary care

Practical Experience for Future Clinicians

The idea that drives this initiative is simple: every hospital has patients with complex care needs who struggle to navigate the equally complex system. These patients, often referred to as high-utilizers or “super-utilizers,” typically have medical and social barriers that keep them from getting the quality care they need.

Teams, consisting of four to six students coming from a wide range of disciplines, offer diversity of professions, genders and personality styles that will be an asset to their teams and will strengthen their ability to connect with patients. Students will find that motivation to help others, social engagement, strong communication, maturity, flexibility, and empathy are more important qualities for this project than academic success. Through accompaniment and observation, students learn about the barriers that medically and socially complex patients face to obtaining high-quality care and maintaining their health.

The Camden Coalition and Primary Care Progress provide additional guidance around safety in the field, harm reduction, building trust with patients and providers, patient navigation and accompaniment, and how to present patient stories.