Trenton, NJ (PRWEB) July 01, 2014
The Trenton Health Team has been awarded a $415,000 grant from the state to develop a clinical decision support (CDS) system to improve blood pressure and diabetes control for patients the THT serves.
The one-year grant from the New Jersey Department of Health provides funding for improving care processes at healthcare institutions across Trenton and creating a clinical decision support system to support better outcomes for patients.
“This initiative aims to combine the power of data, clinical intervention and the coordination of community providers to improve patient health,” said N.J. Department of Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd. “Through this effort, all members of the Trenton Health Team—hospitals, federally qualified health centers, local public health agencies and others—have the information they need to make sound decisions and take appropriate action that leads to improved health outcomes.”
“We’re initially focusing on two chronic diseases that occur at alarmingly high rates within our geography—diabetes and hypertension. Beyond that important goal, in the long run we should end up with a blueprint for expanding the clinical decision support system to include other diseases, which will strengthen our ability to improve the overall health of people in Trenton,” said Dr. Ruth Perry, executive director of THT.
CDS systems are more than a collection of electronic tools. They are a combination of people, clinical processes and technology configured to work together for better care.
“This CDS system will improve outcomes for diabetes and hypertension by delivering the right information to the right people, in the right format and at the right time,” said Dr. Jerry Osheroff, Principal at TMIT Consulting. TMIT will partner with THT in development of the CDS system.
Dr. Perry provided an example of how a clinical decision support system is useful: “Suppose a patient with diabetes and hypertension is admitted to a Trenton hospital with high blood sugar and a foot infection, requiring several different treatments,” she said. “The CDS system will improve our clinical ability to prioritize those treatments, ensure the correct medications are prescribed and better understand what is happening in the life of the patient between medical visits and how that may be impacting the disease process. This enables the clinician to leverage the best information available for decisions about care.”
The Trenton Health Team’s analysis of current care patterns will follow the path of diabetes and hypertension patients from their homes through the Trenton healthcare system, focusing on interactions between individuals involved in care as well as the electronic systems in place to support care.
Process improvements will be identified, along with opportunities to combine clinical knowledge and pertinent patient information, in a user-friendly way and in a timely manner.
Much of the patient information presented to clinicians during the care process will come from the Trenton Health Information Exchange (THIE) created by THT, which contains consolidated electronic health records for each patient in Trenton, compiled by information flowing in from St. Francis Medical Center, Capital Health, Henry J. Austin Health Center and the Trenton Department of Health and Human Services.
CareEvolution, an HIE technology vendor that has partnered with THT to develop, launch, operate, and expand the Trenton HIE, will also partner with THT to make the necessary changes to the HIE to support the new CDS system.
THT aims through the clinical decision support system to increase the proportion of patients with hypertension who achieve blood pressure control, decrease the proportion of patients with diabetes who have high blood sugar, and decrease hospitalization rates due to diabetes. The CDS system is also intended to drive further clinical integration across all outpatient sites in the THT geography, which also includes parts of Ewing and Hamilton Townships.
About the Trenton Health Team
Trenton Health Team (THT) is an alliance of the city's major providers of healthcare services including Capital Health, St. Francis Medical Center, Henry J. Austin Health Center and the city's Health Department. In collaboration with residents and the city's active social services network, THT is developing an integrated healthcare delivery system to transform the city's fragmented primary care system and restore health to the city. THT aims to make Trenton the healthiest city in the state. The THT receives generous support from The Nicholson Foundation, corporate partners and other foundations. For more information, visit http://www.trentonhealthteam.org.