Until recently, if a doctor identified a patient’s need and made a referral for non-medical support such as assistance with housing, clothing or food, there was not an easy way to ensure the patient connected to a service and received the needed assistance.

Today, that challenge is being solved, thanks to a new technology platform that’s connecting service providers and helping underserved people in New Castle County, Delaware, get the support they need.

ChristianaCare has partnered with Unite Us to launch Unite Delaware, a network connecting health and social care providers in a collaborative ecosystem, using the Unite Us technology platform and community-based customer support.

“At ChristianaCare we believe in the importance of connecting with our community and taking care of those who are underserved,” said Erin Booker, vice president for community health and engagement. “Through Unite Delaware, we are impacting change together and making sure everyone in our community has access to great care.”

ChristianaCare chose Unite Us for its ability to securely send and receive referrals, improve workflows, track accurate and structured outcome data, and make informed decisions to address gaps in services.

Here’s how it works: Once a care provider identifies a person’s social need, they can instantly send a secure electronic referral to the most appropriate network partner for that specific service. From the moment the referral is accepted, partners involved in that person’s care will be informed about whether that individual received the services and what happened as a result. Unite Us onboards and trains all partners who use the platform to ensure consistency and accountability to the network.

Across multiple specialties, including primary care and behavioral health, ChristianaCare providers connect patients to community resources through the Unite Delaware network. More than a dozen community-based organizations currently use the Unite Delaware platform, and additional organizations are going through onboarding and training. Interested organizations can request to join the network here.

“We joined Unite Delaware because we believe the efficient referral process will result in saving us all time – time that can then be spent with those who need us most,” said Kim Eppehimer, executive director of Friendship House, a Delaware nonprofit that helps impoverished and homeless individuals. “When working with people who are suffering significant strife, anything we can do to ease the process of getting them services is the right thing.”

“We are excited to work closely with ChristianaCare to transform the care delivery system in Delaware,” said Taylor Justice, president of Unite Us. “In order to improve public health and provide access to quality care for everyone, there needs to be digital infrastructure in place, supported by excellent customer support, rooted in communities.

“The Unite Us team is committed to ensuring that Unite Delaware becomes a model for other states across the country.”