The South Dakota Department of Health has partnered with health IT vendor findhelp to establish a statewide Community Information Exchange (CIE). This initiative aims to connect South Dakotans in need of social care services with community providers, enhancing health outcomes for underserved populations. The CIE will integrate with the state’s Health Information Exchange (HIE) to streamline service and referral management. Addressing social determinants of health (SDOH), such as housing and food insecurity, is a key focus to promote health equity. Findhelp’s previous success in connecting residents with social care services strengthens this collaborative effort.
The South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) has taken a significant step toward improving access to social care services by entering into a contract with the health IT vendor, findhelp. This partnership aims to establish a comprehensive Community Information Exchange (CIE) that will serve the entire state.
The primary objective of this CIE platform is to facilitate connections between South Dakotans seeking social care services and the various community providers available. By doing so, the initiative aims to enhance health outcomes, particularly among underserved populations within the state.
To ensure seamless interoperability, the CIE will integrate with South Dakota’s existing Health Information Exchange (HIE). This integration will empower healthcare providers and community partners to efficiently manage service requests and referrals. Additionally, it will enable them to access crucial information regarding patients’ social needs, thereby improving the coordination of community care efforts.
This endeavor recognizes the critical role of addressing social determinants of health (SDOH) such as housing and food insecurity in promoting health equity, particularly among vulnerable groups like racial and ethnic minorities and rural communities.
Rachel Sehr, the Community Engagement Director at the South Dakota Department of Health, expressed their commitment to ensuring South Dakotans receive timely and appropriate assistance. She emphasized findhelp as the ideal partner for this mission, citing their dedication to preserving the dignity and simplicity of the process.
Findhelp is already a familiar name among South Dakotans, having served the community since April 2020. During this time, 240,000 state residents have performed 900,000 searches on the findhelp platform, leading to nearly 160,000 connections between individuals in need and social care providers. The findhelp database currently hosts 2,914 social care programs at the national, state, and local levels, supporting individuals across South Dakota.
Erine Gray, the Founder, and CEO of findhelp, expressed gratitude for the relationships they have built with South Dakotans over the past eight years. They are honored to collaborate with the South Dakota Department of Health to extend their assistance to even more residents. Gray highlighted that findhelp is known for its reliability in connecting individuals with social care services, all while ensuring privacy and compassion.