The Bay Area Regional Help Desk Consortium (BARHC) started in 2012, when three East Bay Hospitals - Highland Hospital, San Francisco General Hospital, and Children’s Hospital in Oakland - got together to discuss ways to improve the health care system for low-income patients.
Adopting a help desk model that focuses on the Bay Area, the BARHC offers capacity building, technical assistance, and funding activities for help desks across Bay Area hospitals. In doing so, the BARHC aims to standardize activities to address social factors in clinical settings and to change the way social determinants shape health and disease. All participating Consortium clinics/hospitals use a tiered service model that engages volunteers, social workers and legal aid partners together to efficiently triage and help manage the social and legal challenges facing patients seen in safety net clinical settings.
Representatives from each hospital meet regularly to discuss help desk challenges and best practices, and to create tools to disseminate this work to a broader audience.