Posts From February, 2014

New App Assesses Heart Disease and Stroke Risk 

This week, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association announced the release of a new mobile and web-based app for healthcare professionals and patients to use in determining the risk of developing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). The app, the ASCVD Risk Estimator (available for free on iTunes and Google Play), uses patient data to estimate a patient’s 10-year and lifetime risk of heart attack and ischemic stroke. It also helps healthcare professionals to see whether statin therapy is appropriate for the patient.

The tool works by selecting the following patient data and calculating heart disease and stroke risk:

  •          Age
  •          Sex
  •          Race
  •          Total cholesterol
  •          High-density lipoprotein cholesterol
  •          Systolic blood pressure
  •          Blood pressure-lowering medication use
  •          Diabetes status
  •          Smoking status 

The ACC states that it hopes the tool will “help health professionals and patients work together.”

As social health applications and resources become more prevalent, what do you see being useful for cardiologists and heart failure patients? 

Friday, February 28, 2014 9:04:00 AM Categories: American College of Cardiology cardiology EHR industry news iPad iPhone

Crouse Hospital and LUMEDX's Cloud-Based CVIS  

 

Watch the latest LUMEDX video to see how our cloud-enabled solutions support the cardiovascular service line at Crouse Hospital. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014 10:26:00 AM

Best of Health IT News: Week of 02/27/14 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss.

Don't believe the naysayers -- HIE is flourishing

In an interview with Healthcare Informatics, Micky Tripathi, PhD, states that it is currently an unprecedented time for CIOs and other healthcare IT leaders as the importance of healthcare IT rises. He states that HIEs are flourishing -- but in silos. 

ONC issues voluntary 2015 certification criteria for EHRs 

Last Friday, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT announced a proposed rule that includes voluntary certification criteria for EHRs in 2015. Some of the criteria proposed include: developing a way for non-meaningful use EHR systems to become certified, enhancing interoperability efforts, and improving alignment with other HHS programs. 

Providers ramp up meaningful use

Healthcare IT News reports that healthcare providers are ramping up meaningful use -- and nearly 90% of eligible hospitals have received an EHR incentive payment. The report also states that about 60% of Medicare EPs are meaningful users of EHR systems. 

App can help doctors calculate heart risks

According to The Boston Globe, a new app has been release by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association to calculate the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients. The app allows healthcare professionals and patients to determine the risk of developing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) and is available for free on iTunes and Google Play. 

Case Study: Improving Heart Failure Readmissions Rates 

During Heart Failure Awareness Week (Feb. 9-15), the LUMEDX blog will post on topics related to heart failure program management.

In this case study, we will examine how a hospital system utilized performance improvement processes and data analysis to lower heart failure readmissions rates.

Background:

A hospital system found that its largest expense category over several years was in heart failure (HF) patients due to high readmissions rates. Hospital administrators determined that reducing readmissions rates would enable cost reduction and improve patient care.

The Model for Improvement:

With guidance from the LUMEDX Healthcare Consultants, the hospital employed the Model for Improvement as a foundation for change.

The model asks three questions:

  • What are we trying to accomplish?
  • How will we know that a change has resulted in improvement?
  • What changes can we make that will lead to improvement?

By working with LUMEDX to answer the questions above, the hospital developed concrete goals. They determined that charting current trends would provide the best basis for prediction and rapid detection of changes.

Next, LUMEDX and staff at the hospital went through a series of PDSA Cycles to test, adapt, and implement the new improvement plan – deploying a nurse case manager who would provide coaching for individual heart failure patients who had left the hospital.

During the cycles, the hospital:

  • Designed and reviewed the case manager concept with doctors, nursing staff, and hospital administration
  • Conducted small-scale tests with select groups of patients before evaluating and modifying the plan based on results
  • Summarized learnings, and implemented the final plan across the entire patient population

Conclusion:

After full implementation of the case management plan, data showed that the strategy was effective in that readmissions rates declined (see graph below).

By using data analysis, the hospital system can continue to make methodical, informed improvements in its heart failure program.

For more information on LUMEDX Healthcare Consulting, click here.

 

Heart Failure Awareness Week: Improving Your HF Program 

This week, we celebrate Heart Failure Awareness Week (Feb. 9-15) along with the Heart Failure Society of America. Statistics show that heart failure.

  • Affects 5.8 million people in the U.S., with over 600,000 more diagnosed each year;
  • Is one of the fastest growing heart disease conditions, with an expected increase of 25% by 2030;
  • And cost the U.S. $39.2 billion in 2010 through health care services, medications, and productivity losses.

We at LUMEDX understand that in addition to educating patients on heart failure facts, symptoms, and preventative measures, it is also vital to examine the care provider’s side – namely, how to tackle the many challenges associated with managing a successful heart failure program.

Heart hospitals strive to provide timely, highest quality treatment to patients across the entire continuum of care – while finding ways to reduce costs, protect reimbursements, and manage populations efficiently. With a successful heart failure program in place, hospitals can improve patient outcomes by reducing readmissions and mortality rates while also saving time and money.

It is critical for clinicians, hospital administrators, vendors, and other stakeholders to come together and share ideas on how to optimize management and treatment of heart failure patient populations – both now and moving forward.

To add to this conversation, LUMEDX invites you to join us for a complimentary webinar next week on Heart Failure outcomes analytics: Using Analytics to Identify and Manage Heart Failure Patients. The webinar will take place next Thursday, February 20 at 1pm Eastern Time. You can register by clicking here.

We will continue to post on topics related to heart failure awareness for the rest of this week, and look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments. Follow us on Twitter and Google+ for more. 

Best of Health IT News: Week of 02/06/14 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss.

Also, tune in next week as we celebrate Heart Failure Awareness Week!

What Consumer-Driven Healthcare Really Means 

Information Week discusses what healthcare organizations need to do in order to achieve online patient engagement.The article states that healthcare organizations need to use marketing in order to drive consumer engagement on healthcare online portals. 

Patient Engagement Gains Momentum 

According to Healthcare IT News, patients are beginning to engage with their healthcare. Mobile health devices, sensors, and IT solutions are helping patients to participate and engage with healthcare providers more fully. 

USDA Doles Out Millions For Rural Telemedicine Initiatives 

iHealthBeat reports on the USDA's announcement that it will be awarding nearly $16 million in grants to help fund telehealth and distance learning initiatives in rural areas. 

Health, Prevention and Wellness: Our Focus This Month, Every Month

In the Huffington Post, Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, discusses how heart disease is the number-1 killer of Americans. While 1 in 30 female deaths is from breast cancer, 1 in 3 is from heart disease. As we embark on Heart Awareness Month in 2014, we need to continue the conversation around heart disease. 

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