Where to locate a safety net health clinic?


Community health clinics

My colleague Karen Love has been recognized as for her “Outstanding Author Contribution” in the 2015 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence. Your chapter was chosen as a winner as it is one of the most impressive pieces of work the team has seen throughout 2014.

Community health clinics serving the poor and underserved are geographically expanding due to changes in U.S. health care policy. This paper describes the experience of a collaborative alliance of health care providers in a large metropolitan area who develop a conceptual and mathematical decision model to guide decisions on expanding its network of community health clinics.

Community stakeholders participated in a collaborative process that defined constructs they deemed important in guiding decisions on the location of community health clinics. This collaboration also defined key variables within each construct. Scores for variables within each construct were then totaled and weighted into a community-specific optimal space planning equation. This analysis relied entirely on secondary data available from published sources.

The model built from this collaboration revolved around the constructs of demand, sustainability, and competition. It used publicly available data defining variables within each construct to arrive at an optimal location that maximized demand and sustainability and minimized competition.

Practical implications
This is a model that safety net clinic planners and community stakeholders can use to analyze demographic and utilization data to optimize capacity expansion to serve uninsured and Medicaid populations.

Communities can use this innovative model to develop a locally relevant clinic location-planning framework.


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