The Trenton Health Team is an innovative collaboration including the city of Trenton’s two hospitals, St. Francis Medical Center and Capital Health; its only Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), Henry J. Austin Health Center, and the City of Trenton Department of Health and Human Services. By forging partnerships, creating new educational pathways and engaging city residents in creative ways, the Trenton Health Team is transforming healthcare for residents. We believe that by collaborating we can actually drive down costs while providing significantly better, more comprehensive and effective care.
Since its founding, the Trenton Health Team (THT) has been harnessing the collective power of leaders, partners, and community members to advance its mission to transform healthcare for the city by forming a committed partnership with the community to expand access to high quality, coordinated healthcare. THT is unique in its public-private, community-wide collaborative structure and in cultivating a shared commitment to health improvement throughout the six zip codes of Trenton.
THT first came together in 2006 as the result of a report commissioned by Mayor Douglas Palmer to assess the impact of the proposed closure of Mercer hospital. Fierce competitors were brought together to resolve challenges and, as healthcare providers began to find common ground, THT was formally constituted as a 501(c)(c3) in 2010. THT can point now to significant accomplishments that are improving healthcare delivery and outcomes. For example, access to care has been improved through adoption of an open access or “same day” scheduling system, resulting in reduced patient wait times (37 days down to two days at HJAHC) and improved patient provider continuity (0% to over 95% at SFMC). The Community-wide Clinical Care Coordination Team (C4T), composed of physicians, case managers, nurses, and social workers from THT partners, plus representatives of community behavioral health and social service agencies, meets regularly to improve the quality of care to the community’s neediest patients. By focusing on data analysis to identify the highest utilizers of emergency rooms, the C4T was able to achieve reductions of ER use by more than 45% across the city.
THT has been recognized nationally for its efforts, including a feature on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Innovations Exchange and its selection as one of 10 field-testing sites for the National Quality Forum’s (NQF) Population Health Action Guide. The resulting Action Guide 2.0 has just been released and THT is featured on the NQF website for its role in the process.