Dr. Jeffrey Brenner and Camden Coalition Staff

Sharing data across sectors for better complex care

A Camden Coalition care team member demonstrates using our Health Information Exchange in the field

As we launch our national center, we are working to convene experts in complex care— caring for patients with complex health and social needs— across the country, and to elevate cross-sector collaborations that already exist. One national collaboration that we are a part of is All In: Data for Community Health (All In), a “network of networks” dedicated to improving community capacity to address the social determinants of health through data. The founding partners of All In are the Community Health Peer Learning Program (CHP) and Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH).

As we’ve learned through our work in Camden, a major barrier to tackling the complex health and social needs of our patients is the fragmentation of our systems of care. Different hospitals don’t talk to each other, let alone different sectors like health, housing, criminal justice, and social services. This fragmentation is why we constructed the Camden Health Information Exchange (HIE), and is the impetus behind our Camden ARISE data integration project. DASH, CHP, and All In are working to support these kinds of data sharing projects across the country.

One of the many projects around the country that DASH is supporting is the Center for Health Care Services (CHCS), a local mental health authority in San Antonio, Texas. Like Camden, San Antonio has a regional Health Information Exchange, and with the support of DASH, CHCS is working to integrate physical and behavioral health care data in the exchange.

CHCS is building a system that hospitals, law enforcement, and homeless shelters can all use to alert behavioral health providers in real time when someone is having a mental health crisis. This means that instead of inappropriate and expensive hospitalizations, arrests, and incarceration, San Antonio residents with severe mental illness will get the appropriate behavioral health care they need. These individuals, who often have co-occurring substance use disorders and physical health conditions, will have Community Treatment Plans accessible in the regional exchange, so that emergency department staff and others will be able to quickly provide them the appropriate treatment for their complex needs.

All In functions as a network of over 50 projects like CHCS across the country. This structure allows for accelerated learning and implementation by allowing programs to collaborate and learn from each other, building a joint evidence base of best practices for data integration.

The Camden Coalition has provided technical assistance for All In, and works with DASH and All In on joint webinars and presentations, including a recent presentation at Academy Health’s annual Health Datapalooza and an All In webinar on using Master Patient Indexes to improve population health. As we set our sights on the national field, we’re excited for the chance to build on networks like All In, and to continue to build an evidence base for the treatment of complex health and social needs nationwide.

Posted: August 9, 2016