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. 


Heart Attack Patients Get Faster Care When Medical Teams Use Smartphone Social Network System 

18-month study tracked 114 STEMI patients

New research shows that patients in need of a hospital transfer were treated 27 minutes faster when their medical teams used a smartphone app-based social network system (SNS) to set up the transfer, compared to medical teams who didn’t use the smartphone technology.

The research, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, monitored the time that patients with ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI) suffered from ischemia (reduction in blood supply) while they waited to have a procedure opening their blocked arteries. On nights and weekends, the treatment time reduction was even greater than during the regular work week.

One of the study’s senior researchers, Jin Joo Park, M.D., pointed out that there is a higher risk of death for patients who get to a hospital during off hours—a worldwide trend.

“Transferred STEMI patients rarely achieve timely reperfusion due to delays in the transfer process, especially when transferred during off-hours,” Park told Dicardiology.com. “The use of a smartphone SNS (Social Network System) can help to achieve timely reperfusion for transferred STEMI patients with rapid, seamless communication among healthcare providers.”

Over a period of 18 months, the study enrolled 114 STEMI patients who were transferred to Seoul National University Bundang Hospital. The transfers for 50 of the patients were completed using the SNS app, while the remaining patient transfers used a non-smartphone-based STEMI hotline. The transit times for both groups of patients were similar.

Click here to read the research letter.

 

Spotlight on Analytics, Part 6 

Q & A with Gus Gilbertson, LUMEDX Products Manager

 

The Role of Mobile & The Cloud

Q: What is the role of mobile and the cloud in the healthcare analytics industry?

A: Cloud-based technologies hold the promise of delivering better technology solutions at reduced cost. Mobile will increasingly be the platform of choice for quick updates of the most relevant information for a specific situation. Mobile platforms provide an efficient and effective way to consume healthcare analytics.

Q: What challenges and benefits do you predict will arise as mobile and cloud-based access becomes more prevalent?

A: Security protocols will have to meet standards and may limit access to specific patient data. Analytics not at the patient level will become easy to access. Increasingly, caregivers will know how their organizations are doing at meeting care quality goals efficiently. Eventually, patients may get there too.

Q: What use will healthcare organizations have for patient-generated data?

A: Over time, biometric data collection devices will become connected, cheap enough, and prevalent enough that we will all know our health metrics much better than we do today. As standards arise, healthcare organizations will have to engage with patients to better understand what stories biometrics have to tell, and patients will want to share with their providers to gain better insights into their own health. If providers are not able to deliver insights from biometric data, someone else will.

Enhancing the EHR 

Why Department-Level Systems Remain Critical to Quality 

The need for Electronic Health Records (EHRs) has become widely accepted, and methods to accelerate hospital adoption are proving to be successful, albeit resource-and cost-intensive. While EHRs are highly useful tools for collecting certain kinds of information and making that information available widely across services, cardiovascular care is complex; the data generated by this care is equally complex; and therefore cardiovascular service lines require systems that can match this complexity.


 

Chris Winquist, LUMEDX President and COO, explains how the CVIS augments the EHR to provide CV services with the deep data needed for clinical and business excellence.

Publicly Reported Measures & the Need for Deep Data

Even with the rapid pace of innovations in treatments and technologies, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.(1) Unsurprisingly, today a large percentage of publicly reported quality measures are CV measures. Further, new value-based payment models are making up-to-date tracking and managing of performance ever more critical. Demonstrating quality of care delivered has never been more central to cardiac and vascular departments. 

How can a hospital best report, monitor internally and improve quality performance in key measures like Mortality, Complications, and Appropriate Use? With discrete, queryable data. This data must be:

  • Acquired at the point of care so workflow is efficient and data is of high quality 
  • Made accessible to providers across the care continuum so they can make fully informed treatment decisions
  • Reported to the registries
Getting Actionable Information

It's not enough to report to the registries once a quarter and then hope for the best. A high-performing facility must monitor and drill-down into its own data to investigate any problems and take action-as quickly as possible. For this, service lines need systems that can capture information as queryable data elements. And these systems need to integrate with all the devices and clinical systems at work in the service line (ECGs, Stress, Holters, cardiac ultrasounds, hemodynamic systems--to name just a few). 

A dedicated departmental system-one that integrates with clinical-modality systems and the EHR, and offers automated registry data collection and submission to the full suite of cardiac and vascular registries-is the only way for complex environments like cardiac and vascular services to get the data they need to measure and improve performance (clinical, operational) in a substantive way.   

LUMEDX HealthView CVIS Enhances the EHR and Supports Operational Efficiency

With more than 30,000 discrete, queryable data points, HealthView CVIS offers the depth cardiac and vascular departments need for optimal clinical and business excellence. We've developed a powerful data engine that brings insight to every aspect of CV suite operations by drilling into details and reporting on both trending and outlier situations. 

The HealthView CVIS also accepts and transmits relevant data from and to the EHR, so that the enterprise and the service line can operate at the highest levels of efficiency, facilitating best-quality care, improved performance and cost savings.

(1) Go AS, Mozaffarian D, Roger VL, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics-2014 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2014;129(3):e28-e292.

Improving the Business Performance of Your Heart Hospital 

An effective CVIS strategy can improve the business performance of your hospital

The primary goal of any healthcare provider is to improve the lives of patients through effective treatment. However, because they are also businesses, hospitals have concerns that entail much more than this. To be viable in the long term, hospitals must manage their margins to fund their mission.
There are three main pillars of business concern for any hospital:

  • Clinical—health outcomes are measured with the goal of healthier patients leaving the facility.
  • Financial—the dollars must add up to keep the enterprise solvent.
  • Operational—staffing and facilities are measured against cost and need.

Ultimate success for a hospital demands strength in all three areas. It's incumbent upon clinicians and service line managers to work together to seek out efficiencies in each of them.


 

Praveen Lobo, VP Strategic Products

 
New Operational Realities

Payers' shift away from a fee-for-service model toward a value-based payment model demands that clinicians and administrators expand the above-mentioned pillars to include cost, patient outcomes, and patient satisfaction.

These changes aren’t easy. Providers have long been paid based on quantitative measures: the number of procedures performed. New operational realities demand new ways of measuring the qualitative value of those procedures. Reimbursement is linked to these metrics, and hospitals must find ways to leverage their investments in data technology in order to maximize their financial opportunities.


Granular Data Brings Actionable Insights

Data is critical to the shift to VBP. For example, if we know that extubation within six hours improves patient outcomes, it makes sense to monitor that metric internally on an ongoing basis. When outliers crop up, data points gathered from across the treatment spectrum can allow us to understand why. Perhaps a different treatment was needed at the outset, or some other patient health factor influenced that measure.

Over time, granular data can allow us to understand which type of treatment is best for patient outcomes in that circumstance.

It is discrete, granular data that can help providers fine-tune their processes in order to improve patient outcomes—and of course patient satisfaction. This same kind of close analysis can be applied to reducing costs. But for all three new, expanded pillars, efficient data collection, management, and analysis are needed. 

LUMEDX HealthView CVIS 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. HealthView CVIS is an important addition to any heart hospital's electronic records system.  

Spotlight on Analytics, Part 5 

Q & A with Gus Gilbertson, Product Manager for LUMEDX

Predictive Analytics

Q: How much of the healthcare industry has adopted predictive analytics?

A: By definition, negotiations between providers and payers are a game of who can better predict patient outcomes. Win-win scenarios can certainly be devised, but a lack of predictive ability puts an organization at risk for poor contract structuring.

Clinical outcomes are increasingly a game of predicting outcomes and identifying the levers that affect those outcomes so providers are able to improve on future outcomes. Operational predictions are also important, as misunderstanding patient care needs can lead to expensive outlier care patterns or care variations that break capacity management efforts and budgets.

Q: How do you see predictive analytics having an impact on healthcare organizations, and specifically on heart hospitals?

A: Outcome prediction and risk profiling will increasingly guide care pathway selection and tailor care patterns to targeted patient profiles. Predicting and applying the care pathway that leads to the best health outcome at the lowest cost is the foundation of healthcare in the value-based purchasing era.

The dynamics of heart health are increasingly being researched and documented, leading to continued technical evolution and improved outcomes. Being able to predict which technology will lead to the best patient outcomes per dollar spent--whether it be a TVR, and VAD, or an aspirin—is a crucial skill for providers.

Q: What is the role of predictive analytics in affecting areas like heart failure readmissions?

A: Estimates continue to suggest that as much as 20 percent or more of care is wasted. Access to predictive models for identifying patients at risk for readmissions--and providing better targeted treatment up front--are the keys to reducing readmission. Those who best understand their care pathways and patient risk profiles will be the ones who can provide the best value in heart failure care. They will be the ones who can best explain the risk factors inherent in their readmission outcomes to stakeholders from patients to community groups and regulators.

Stay tuned for Part 6 of this series!

 

Spotlight on Analytics, Part 4 

Q & A with Gus Gilbertson, Product Manager for LUMEDX

Exploring CV Service Line Analytics

Q: Where should heart hospitals begin if they want to start using data analytics?

A: Digitization is the key. Start by identifying areas where paper continues to hide data rather than illuminate care process dynamics. For all digital information, build standards for producing and consuming data so that the data collected has meaning, and those who need the information have access and know what to do with the information available.

Q: What unique challenges do heart hospitals face that can be addressed by healthcare analytics?

A: Understanding biometrics, imaging data, labs, medications, process, and outcomes measures make for a richly complex set of data to leverage to drive value in cardiovascular care.

Q: How can data analytics improve clinical care in a cardiology department?

A: With good data governance, a cardiology department can efficiently care for a variety of patients. With well-controlled processes to ensure proper procedures and medication therapies applied, patient health risks and quality of life are managed effectively.

Q: Who are the end users of an analytics product at a heart hospital? Who else should see that data and analysis?

A: The care teams are the key consumers of analytics products at a heart hospital. Clinical and administrative leaders need to know:

  • Whether health care processes are working
  • How well they are doing at achieving positive health outcomes for patients
  • What the risk profiles of their patient profiles look like compared to those of competitors and across payers

Quality, regulatory, operations, and financial stakeholders also need to understand the dynamics of the clinical, operational, and financial performance of the heart program –and where there are opportunities for improvement or celebration of achievement.

Stay tuned for Part 5 of Spotlight on Analytics, where we'll discuss Predictive Analytics. Parts 3, 2, and 1 are below.

 

Posted by Tuesday, July 12, 2016 11:08:00 AM Categories: analytics healthcare analytics healthcare reform healthcare today industry news Lumedx performance

Spotlight on Analytics, Part 3 

Q&A with Gus Gilbertson, LUMEDX Products Manager

Financial Impacts on Healthcare

Q: What are some of the key financial challenges facing healthcare providers today?

A: One of the big challenges is the rapid technology change from health tracking, diagnosis, and risk modelling. That, combined with growing care quality and population management solutions, will change the way we look at health.

Q: What are the financial benefits of using data analytics for healthcare providers?

A: The key financial benefits for providers are the ability to manage patient risk and tailor care plans more efficiently to improve patient health. Healthier patients will likely get better jobs and be able to afford more healthcare. (Who isn’t willing to spend on their family’s health?)

Remember, value equals cost / quality, so lower cost increases value and higher quality increases value. The U.S. healthcare industry is spending a lot of time looking at value in recent years. Patients, too, are slowly shifting to an awareness that they need to measure the cost of care against the quality of care.

Better targeting of care pathways and therapies will reduce variations in care and make the whole industry more efficient. By reducing costs and improving quality, providers and payers who embrace the new technologies will attract patients and payers looking for value.

Q: How does healthcare analytics tie into the trend toward evidence-based care?

A: Evidence from labs, meds, genomics and related biometrics will lead to more personalized medical care.

Q: How can hospital management use healthcare analytics to make financial improvements?

A: The keys to financial improvements in healthcare come from making efficient use of resources--from supplies to provider time, and from reducing variations in care due to identifiable variations in health status. The keys to success are understanding labor dynamics, making sure that the major care pathways are well defined and efficient, and managing outlier cases effectively.

Stay tuned for Part 4 of Spotlight on Analytics, where we'll discuss CV service line analytics. 

 

Posted by Monday, June 27, 2016 2:17:00 PM Categories: analytics healthcare reform healthcare today HIT hospitals

CVIS for management and analysis of cardiovascular data insights 

The CVIS: What It Is Today and Where It’s Headed

It's no secret that healthcare in the United States is moving away from the fee-for-service model toward a value-based system that reimburses for positive health outcomes. The value of improved clinical outcomes is obvious—for patients, for providers, and for payers. As the healthcare industry shifts to value-based care, measuring and monitoring outcomes becomes increasingly important. Hospitals and payers must seek new and deeper ways to track performance.

In the cardiovascular specialties, the American College of Cardiology’s National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR®) and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ (STS) national databases have set the standards for care for decades. The data sets required by the registries, and systems that have developed around managing that data, were the foundation of the original cardiovascular information management systems.

Over time, Cardiovascular Information Systems (CVIS) grew to capture significantly more data, resulting in more automated workflows and much more complete pictures of patient care. Today’s CVIS includes hemodynamic monitoring, ECG management, Echo management, structured reporting, and Picture Archiving and Communications (PACS) systems data. The CVIS of today can—and should—provide a 360°-view of the quality of a cardiovascular service line’s clinical care.

Chris Winquist, LUMEDX President and COO, discusses the CVIS.

Registry Data – Only the Basics

Through participation in the cardiovascular registries, CV service lines can understand their level of care compared with national counterparts. The national registries produce quarterly reports on comparative clinical outcomes, and offer insights for various stakeholders, from payers to individual physicians.

However, data insights only have value when they can affect change, and to do that, they must be timely. Because ACC and STS registry outcomes reports are made available only on a quarterly basis, change can be slow. Change in the kinds of processes and practices that affect outcomes can take up to a year or more after data is collected, submitted, and then reported. By the time a facility receives its outcomes report, the data originally submitted—and thus the registry report itself—is stale.

It's also important to note that registry data is only a basic set of the total data that could be analyzed and used to affect change. With today's ability to collect a much larger set of discrete data points in an efficient manner, deeper insights are possible, and decisions about clinical and operational strategy can be made at the local level.

Today's CVIS Leverages Data to Improve Your CV Business

Historically, the healthcare industry has generated large amounts of data, driven by compliance and regulatory requirements, and the need to deliver and demonstrate evidence-based patient care. But much of that data varies in format and location, and the ability to derive meaningful insights from it has been slow.

The opportunity for data to provide valuable insights in cardiovascular care is now available. We call it LUMEDX data intelligence, and leveraging this intelligence transforms the CVIS into something that goes beyond an information repository, data warehouse, or workflow efficiency tool.

The HealthView CVIS not only collects and warehouses data, but also provides drill-down ability to gain deep insights into every aspect of cardiac care and treatment: from risk factors to specific treatment success rates, discharge medications, readmission rates, and many more.

In fact, over the last 25 years, we've captured more than 30,000 discrete data points that are available to help you track metrics against objectives, identify outliers and trends, and work to improve patient care, population health, and business outcomes—all in one place.

The kind of deep insights that the CVIS of the (near) future will deliver will have a positive impact on the hospital as both a business and a patient-care facility. HealthView brings 21st century data intelligence to bear and eliminates the problems associated with minimal, and stale, data. Heart hospitals can now have a robust and active dataset, where new data enters the system every day. This makes the path to improved care faster, and better care means shared cost savings and dramatically improved patient outcomes.   

Posted by Monday, June 06, 2016 11:58:00 AM Categories: analytics cardiology data Lumedx

See you at ASE! 

Tell us what you're most looking forward to at this event

The 27th Annual Scientific Sessions of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), coming up June 10-14 in Seattle, will bring together practitioners and top luminaries from across the country. The event will include the Inaugural Echovation Challenge competition, designed to foster and showcase novel approaches, technologies, and processes in echocardiography—and featuring a cash prize. 

Other offerings at the event include:

Chalk Talks, an opportunity to get answers from experts in the field of echo in an intimate setting. 

I  Echo, a unique session allowing participants to practice all aspects of a focused cardiac ultrasound exam during the hands-on portion.

Science and Technology Theater’s industry-supported symposia sessions during all four lunch breaks

Posters featuring cutting-edge research on the latest advances in cardiovascular ultrasound or clinical cases illustrating evolutions in patient care

Are you going to ASE? Comment below and let us know which sessions you’re most looking forward to.

LUMEDX’s home base is in Seattle, and we’re excited about being part of ASE’s event. Visit our booth, #337, to learn about the latest in adult and pediatric echo workflow solutions, including innovative Integration and Analytics tools.

Posted by Tuesday, May 24, 2016 9:45:00 AM Categories: industry news Lumedx
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