Addressing the Medical and Support Service Needs of People Living with HIV (PLWH) through Program Collaboration and Service Integration (PCSI)
Background: Approximately 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV, and about 50,000 new infections occur each year. People living with HIV (PLWH) have numerous medical and psychosocial needs that impact HIV disease progression and challenge treatment outcomes. Purpose: Using CDC’s Program Collaboration and Service Integration (PCSI) framework, we examined strategies, challenges, and lessons learned from a local health department’s efforts to institute PCSI to address the diverse needs of their patients with HIV. Methods: We captured case study data through: 1) semi-structured interviews with key program administrators, 2) analysis of program documents, and 3) site observations and review of clinic procedures. Results: Findings highlight the importance of co-locating services, partnering to leverage resources, and conducting cross-training of staff. Providing co-located services reduced wait times and enhanced coordination of care. Partnering to leverage resources increased patient referrals and enhanced access to comprehensive services. Staff cross-training resulted in more coordinated care and efficient service delivery. Conclusion: The results show that PCSI is essential for optimal care for PLWH. Incorporating PCSI was a vital component of the health department’s comprehensive approach to addressing the multiple medical and support service needs of its HIV-infected clients.