Data driven collaboration

Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Pavilion Ballroom (Hilton Portland)
Dan Shetler, Data Analyst (Data Analyst for Monitoring & Evaluation, Columbus House)
Michael Ferry, Lead Social Worker (Lead Social Worker, Yale-New Haven Hospital)
This workshop will demonstrate how data can help build the case needed to bring people and organizations to the table and advocate for funding. It will illustrate how Yale-New Haven Hospital and Columbus House (a homeless services organization) have collaborated in designing and implementing a medical respite program, sharing insights into the collaborative process that can be replicated by organizations wanting to approach their local hospital to build a relationship in order to better provide homeless health care services. In 2012, medical researchers in New Haven documented high hospital readmission rates and emergency department visits among patients experiencing homelessness. This analysis outlined the scale of the problem and made it clear that the challenge could not be solved by any one organization. Yale-New Haven Hospital and Columbus House, a homeless services organization, both located in New Haven, CT, brought together a coalition around this data. The diverse group of organizations and key players (doctors, nurses, social workers, care coordinators, visiting nurse associations, urgent care clinics, and researchers) successfully sought state funding and designed the medical respite program to help alleviate the vicious cycle of hospital to homeless shelter. Our data analysis is now able to illustrate that we have succeeded in increasing health outcomes and reducing medical system costs for this vulnerable population. The poster will include data visualization that clearly illustrates the dramatic reduction of readmission and revisit rates of respite clients from a baseline close to that of the target population. Furthermore, since the respite program started, over 18 percent of clients previously experiencing homelessness were released to permanent housing, and only 5 percent were released to a place not meant for human habitation. Through the relationships established during the process of designing and implementing the medical respite program, we found a strong and highly statistically significant negative correlation between the number of people who had previously experienced homelessness housed each month and the number of hospital admissions of clients experiencing homelessness. This means that, on average, the more clients who are housed, the lower the number of clients experiencing homelessness who show up at the hospital. Hospitals are an integral part of their community and give back in many ways. But through the use of data we were able to demonstrate that hospitals have more incentives to participate in housing people experiencing homelessness than just being good corporate citizens. Evidence like this is a strong catalyst to building relationships founded on the knowledge that collaboration is mutually beneficial. This poster will share our insights into using data to bring together a robust working group around common goals so that other communities can also build strong working relationships in order to provide homeless health care services. Pamphlets will be provided summarizing the results of the poster and a QR code on the poster will link to more resources and contact information for those wanting more specific information.