A new report developed with the support of Tidelands Health aims to improve health outcomes in South Carolina by encouraging a more holistic and coordinated approach to meet the population’s needs.

On Thursday, the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health released “The Evolving Workforce: Redefining Health Care Delivery in South Carolina.” The report provides a range of recommendations designed to prepare and support South Carolina health and human service providers for a changing health care landscape.

Tidelands Health was one of four partners to fund the report’s creation, and Jan Harper, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for the health system, served on a 60-member multidisciplinary task force that developed the report’s recommendations.

“This report offers concise, actionable recommendations that promise to make a real difference in the lives of South Carolinians,” Harper said. “Now it’s time to take the report’s innovative ideas and bring them to life.”

The task force met monthly for nearly a year to evaluate the state of health care and the future of the health care workforce in South Carolina. Its resulting recommendations revolve around four themes:

  • Embracing the evolution of health and human service roles
  • Training and educating health and human service providers
  • Behavioral health workforce needs
  • Setting the stage for an evolving workforce

Much of the report focuses on the need for policy makers and health and human service providers to adopt and support a more comprehensive view of health care that extends beyond clinical care. Instead, the report suggests that improving health outcomes in South Carolina requires better integration with, and access to, behavioral health care and human services.

The value of such integration has already been demonstrated in Georgetown County through the Tidelands Community Care Network, a regional collaborative of faith communities, human service providers, health educators, state agencies and primary care and specialty care providers. By bringing together organizations toward a shared goal of better health, the network has helped break down barriers to care to help prevent and better manage disease.

Statistics show, for example, that emergency department visits among low-income, uninsured people with chronic conditions declined by 32 percent within 24 months of enrollment in the network.

“Today we know the landscape of health care is changing, bringing with it new opportunities to adopt value-based systems of care that address all determinants of health,” said Dick Wilkerson, task force co-chair and retired chairman and president of Michelin North America. “Members of the health and human services workforce in South Carolina need to be empowered to perform as highly adaptive change agents able to evolve with the pace of care delivery innovations and demands.”

Read the full report: The Evolving Workforce: Redefining Health Care Delivery in South Carolina.

Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 50 outpatient locations. More than 2,500 employee, physician and volunteer partners are working side by side with our communities to transform the health of our region – promoting wellness, preventing illness, encouraging recovery and restoring health.