Documenting Community Health Worker Roles in Primary Care: Contributions to Evidence-Based Integration Into Health Care Teams, 2015

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Abstract

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provided community health workers (CHWs) with new opportunities, and current efforts develop evidence-based guidelines for CHW integration into clinical teams. This qualitative study documents CHW roles and activities in 3 federally qualified health care centers in southern Arizona. Community health worker clinical roles, activities, and integration varied by health center and were in flux. Integration included complementary roles, scheduled and everyday communications with team members, and documentation in the electronic health records. These findings contribute to evidence-based guidelines for CHW integration into clinical teams that are critical to maximizing CHW contributions to patient health improvements.

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