OurNotes for Care Partners Pilot Launches
This fall, Beth Israel Lahey Health Primary Care in Boston, MA and Catholic Health in Buffalo, NY will begin identifying care partners before and during clinical visits through pre-visit and in-practice questionnaires. Patients will be asked to contribute to their note and identify themselves as care partners. They can also use the OurNotes questionnaire to include their caregiver intensity index score.
Who is a care partner? Care partners co-manage care in many different ways. They may arrange or schedule services, join patients in visits, or provide emotional support. They may participate in making important decisions about care. Care partners are often family members, but may also be neighbors, friends, or others with a close relationship. Care partners may or may not be involved in the provision of hands-on assistance with daily activities.
Care partners are a critical, though informal, part of the healthcare system but are often not well supported by formal structures. OurNotes for Care Partners aims to identify care partners, assess their needs, and offer practical resources to alleviate stress and offer support through the Caregiver Intensity Index.
Once identified, care partners will be asked to fill out the Caregiver Intensity Index which identifies their level of stress and specific areas of need. The index then connects them with practical support and resources available in their area.
“We’re hoping to identify practical, scalable ways to support care partners who face a multitude of challenges,” said Cait DesRoches, DrPH. “Currently, most care partners are not even being asked about their level of need. We’re asking, but we’re also answering with practical tools and evaluating how effective these supports are for care partners.”