People experiencing housing instability are at higher risk for emergency department admissions, poor health outcomes and shorter life-expectancies. In September 2022, a major hospital in the mid-South implemented a two-question housing screening tool within the Emergency Department as a standard part of registration and triage. When the patient is identified as housing unstable, a social worker consultation is requested. Interviews are currently taking place with social workers, healthcare providers, and registration staff in the ED as to their experience with the two-question screening criteria. A separate qualitative study, consisting of individual and focus group interviews, will be conducted in January 2023 to determine themes in the experiences of unhoused persons in the ED of this hospital. Results from both studies will be available and ready for presentation at the NHCHC conference.
Speakers: Sophia Druffner: PhD student, Vanderbilt University Community Action Research Program