I was recently asked why Aunt Bertha places such a high value in having a depth and breadth of free and reduced cost agencies listed in our database. “Don’t people just need to know 10-20 really good resources they can send patients to if they have complex social needs?”
The short answer is: No. Data repeatedly shows that a small number of programs, even really good programs, do not meet the diverse needs of an entire community.
One of the great things about Aunt Bertha is that with over 25,000 users conducting over 135,000 searches and referrals every month we get a unique view of needs and search patterns throughout the country. This real, demand side data tells an interesting story.
We took a look at one of our client’s activity in the Washington DC area and found that in February alone 716 unique programs were clicked on or referred to and the top 20 programs only accounted for 35% of total activity.
Of the organizations I speak with I have heard two consistent themes that may explain this:
- There is diversity in the population they serve which could have wide variation in income, age, and other factors that create a variety of social needs. So a senior with mobility problems will have needs that differ from a single mom that is struggling financially.
- Healthcare organizations that increasingly serve people from a wider and wider geographic area. Many hospitals see patients not only from multiple zip codes or counties, but in some cases from multiple states.
Some medical conditions and treatments are common, but each patient is unique which is why there is a diversity of treatments, medications and specialists available.
Not all people who need social assistance will be able to be served appropriately by the same programs. For this exact reason, Aunt Bertha has invested heavily in our data operations and will continue to do so. If we list a program that only a few people get that help from every year - it’s worth knowing about that program and it’s worth listing.
We’re constantly forming partnerships with key social program agencies in your community and have technology and strategies to support this. Reach out to us to find out more about how we can help you help the clients you serve.