The AU COMPLEX CARE Initiative: Student Hotspotting

Definition: Healthcare hotspotting is the strategic use of data to target resources to high-needs, high-cost patients. 

Purpose: The AU Complex Care Initiative (i.e. ‘student hotspotting’) seeks to partner with patients with high rates of hospital utilization to achieve their health goals and improve their health outcomes. We accomplish this goal by building relationships with patients and walking alongside them to strategically overcome barriers to care and target areas of specific need.

Structure: Each patient is paired with a student team composed of nursing, pharmacy, medical, physical therapy, and occupation therapy students. Teams have approximately 6 members. We partner with 3-5 patients per yearly cohort of students.

hot spotImage courtesy AAMC

Goals for Patients: 

  1. Improve patients’ coordination of care across the AU health system.
  2. Visit patients in their homes to better understand their care goals, social needs, values, and abilities.
  3. Enroll in and accompany patients to consistent primary care visits to address any chronic conditions.
  4. Equip patients with the knowledge and confidence to address their health needs through the appropriate avenues, reducing their need to utilize the emergency department for non-emergent care.

Goals for Students: 

  1. Build relationships with patients to better understand how social determinants of health impact patient care and health outcomes.
  2. Foster interdisciplinary teamwork among a diverse group of students.
  3. Better understand the capabilities and expertise of other health professions.

Goals for the Health System: 

  1. Reduce costs and frequency of ED visits by patients for non-emergent care.
  2. Promote more efficient and appropriate use of resources.

David Newton,
Katie Fitton,
Shaun Goh,

Faculty Support:
Denise Kornegay, MSW,
Phillip Coule, MD