Dr. Jeffrey Brenner and Camden Coalition Staff

Relationship with Kennedy Health helps patients receive better care

In 2010, we launched the Camden Coalition Health Information Exchange (HIE), which allowed for the first time three major hospital systems in Camden to share patient medical records with each other and with us. This helped providers see a more complete medical history of a patient and provide better care.

Two years ago, we expanded the HIE to include Kennedy Health Systems. Previously, our Care Management Initiatives (CMI) intervention triaged patients from Cooper University Hospital, Virtua, and Our Lady of Lourdes. This April, we were able to expand our partnership with Kennedy to include their patients in our care management intervention.

Our partnership with Kennedy extends the reach of our CMI intervention well past Camden city limits. Kennedy, which has been providing patient data to our HIE since 2015, is the only health system participating in our HIE without a Camden city location. It is one of the largest health systems in Camden County, serving Stratford, Cherry Hill and Washington Township.

Many patients with complex health and social needs visit multiple hospitals throughout the region over the course of a year, and often return to one of the hospitals more than others. By flagging current patients at Kennedy through our HIE who are eligible for our intervention programs and engaging with them at bedside, Coalition staff can more accurately identify patients with frequent hospital admissions and enroll them into one of our intervention programs. Previously, a patient who visited Kennedy multiple times but went to another area hospital only once in the span of six months would not have been flagged for patient engagement.

“This stronger partnership with Kennedy enables us to have a fuller picture of the patients we work with, whether they visit the emergency department or are admitted into the hospital. It betters patient care when we can collaborate with other treating providers, as well as hospital staff like social workers and nurses on the floor,” said Christine McBride, Program Manager of the Camden Coalition HIE.

“On the data side, tracking patient utilization at Kennedy pre- and post-Coalition intervention helps us better understand our impact on patients’ health outcomes and their utilization,” she added.

Kennedy’s 24-hour behavioral health crisis center further underscores the importance of the Coalition’s partnership with Kennedy. The crisis center is the only one of its kind in Camden County located in a hospital’s emergency department, and offers behavioral health evaluations, clinical stabilization services, and referrals to appropriate services. A 2016 report by the South Jersey Behavioral Health Innovation Collaborative (SJBHIC) found that the overwhelming majority of 800 patients who visited all five SJBHIC health systems from 2010 to 2014 had at least one mental health or substance use disorder diagnosis.

If you are interested in joining the Camden Coalition HIE or want to learn more, contact [email protected].

Posted: August 9, 2017