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Medical Errors Are Made at an Alarming Rate 

How Integrated Systems Can Help 

Medical errors are dangerous, deadly, and all too common. Research published in The Journal of Health Care Finance found that these mistakes cost the United States $19.5 billion in 2008 alone. A 2016 study estimated that medical errors cause 251,000 deaths a year in the U.S., where they are the third-leading cause of death (after heart disease and cancer). 

To Err is Human, the groundbreaking report by the Institute of Medicine, found that nearly half of all deaths attributed to medical errors were preventable. What's even more disturbing is the limited improvement that has occurred since the publication of that 1999 report. "The overall numbers haven't changed, and that's discouraging and alarming," Kenneth Sands of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center told the Washington Post.


Mickey Norris, National Vice President of Sales for LUMEDX, discusses how a CVIS can help reduce medical errors.

Medical errors can obviously result from many factors. Some relate to process or people issues, such as the inability to read another physician's handwritten notes, verbal communication breakdowns between medical professionals, or delays in adding notes to a case after treatment occurs.

But many errors stem from the lack of having accurate, up-to-date, or complete information about a patient readily available to clinicians at the point of care. In most cases this is a technology problem, yet technology can also be the solution.

Technology Can Help Reduce Medical Errors

The best technology solutions take an analog process and make it more efficient and accurate through a digital solution. The same is true in healthcare. The effectiveness of patient treatment hinges on getting the right information in front of the right caregivers at the right time. And historically that has been a challenge because the data physicians need is often located in multiple systems. These systems don't always communicate with each other.

For example, a physician may check a pharmacy log to determine which medications have been administered to a patient. But the patient may have been given additional medications in the cath lab, which weren't documented in the same log. This lack of complete information could result in drug interactions or overdoses, or in simply repeating tests. Similarly, the results of tests conducted outside a hospital may not be immediately available to a physician in a hospital. 

Integrating critical patient data from multiple systems automatically, and making it accessible to physicians and clinicians where and when they need it, helps reduce medical errors and improve care overall. Indeed, by minimizing the "number of hands" and number of times information is entered into a system, data quality improves, as there are fewer chances of error. 

Integrating data also reduces costs, because integration minimizes duplicative manual work. Clinicians can spend less time entering redundant data into silo'd systems and more time working with patients. Complete, accessible, high-quality data and improved operational efficiency in CV care are critical to the financial success of a facility.

LUMEDX HealthView CVIS: Increase Efficiencies, Reduce Errors

LUMEDX HealthView CVIS has the ability to interface digitally with almost every point-of-care device in use, and is completely vendor-neutral. Our suite of clinical interfaces allows device and clinical system data-ECG, hemodynamic systems, PACS, cardiac ultrasounds and more-to be captured automatically so that physicians and clinicians always have the most up-to-date information at their fingertips. And our structured reporting applications and registry modules support improved workflow efficiency and clinical quality, while minimizing redundant data entry and the potential for human error. 

HealthView CVIS also complements established workflows. It collects more than 30,000 discrete data points-from point-of-care devices to physician reporting. The robust analysis and reporting engine provides meaningful insights in the areas of treatment options, clinical evaluation and training, and service-line optimization. It's an important addition to any heart hospital's electronic records system, turning it into a robust and dynamic dataset where new information is added in near real-time. Fresh, relevant data that enables better medical care is a critical step in reducing medical errors. 


A Technology Recipe for Service Line Excellence 

by Gus Gilbertson

In November, LUMEDX Business Analyst Gus Gilbertson spoke at the HIMSS NW Technology and Education Conference in Bellevue, Washington. Here, he shares some tips from his presentation about how healthcare providers can best leverage their technology investments in order to achieve service line excellence.

Read on for tips and watch the full presentation here.

To achieve service line excellence, top heart hospitals need access to a broad set of information that will allow them to monitor and act on performance metrics in real-time. Hospitals can manage and transform both clinical and business performance by leveraging analytics, which allows them to understand their data, make changes, and achieve collaborative improvement over time. 

In my experience, a key part of achieving excellence depends on making the most out of your hospital’s technology. Below, I’ve outlined step-by-step recommendations for cardiology departments seeking to optimize their overall performance. 

1. Start with flexible data architecture.

2. Use workflow management tools and interfaces to integrate your data. By integrating your data, you achieve comprehensive control over your cardiovascular service line’s information, increased data integrity, and more streamlined workflow.

3. Integrate benchmarking statistics. Combining benchmarking statistics and your reporting processes allows management to better track and manage your hospital’s performance goals. I also recommend using color-coded performance statistics in order to save valuable time and make it easier to understand your data.

Color-coded markers in the HealthView Analytics Service Line Dashboard enable users to understand performance at-a-glance.

4. Provide stakeholders with analytics tools. Using sophisticated analytics allows you to set and track objectives, identify trends and root causes, improve patient care, and better understand your hospital’s performance.

Above all, I recommend collaborating with stakeholders. Only in taking the time to communicate about performance will you find yourself on the path to excellence.

View the rest of the presentation here.

We’d like to hear from you! How else can cardiovascular service lines improve their overall performance? Let us know in the comments below.

Thursday, February 05, 2015 9:58:00 AM Categories: analytics healthcare analytics HIT Lumedx LUMEDX Consulting Group video
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