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Innovator Semifinalists: Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom

January 27, 2014
by Gabriel Perna, Rajiv Leventhal, and Mark Hagland
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Innovation is blossoming everywhere in U.S. healthcare these days, and many leaders in patient care organizations nationwide are pursuing initiatives that are leveraging health information technology to improve patient care quality, patient safety, clinician and staff effectiveness, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and more.

Indeed, we at Healthcare Informatics were delighted by the exceptional quality of the submissions we received from innovating teams from across the country, this year. Below, please find descriptions of the initiatives of the nine teams whom we have awarded semifinalist status in this year’s program. Leaders of these teams, along with leaders of the four finalist teams, will be recognized at the Healthcare Informatics Innovator Awards Reception, to be held in Orlando on Feb. 24.

Congratulations to all these innovators and their organizations!

  •  Baystate Health (Springfield, Massachusetts)
  •  Care at Home Community Healthcare (Campbell, California)
  •  Children’s Medical Center (Dallas, Texas)
  •  CHRISTUS Health (Dallas, Texas)
  •  Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, Ohio)
  •  North Shore LIJ Health System (Manhasset, New York)
  •  Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago, Illinois)
  •  Penn Medicine (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  •  Rhode Island Quality Institute (Providence, Rhode Island)

We will be announcing the third, co-second, and first place winners over the coming week. In addition, we plan on extending our coverage of these semi-finalist teams in the weeks ahead.

Penn Medicine
At Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, the organization’s IT professionals are leading a project that has built a dashboard for monitoring patients as they are treated for different forms of leukemia. In order to design the translational dashboard tool, the team assessed the clinical workflow of vaccine manufacturing, flow cytometry, and biomarkers, from a process viewpoint, to obtain the needed technical data. As a result, they have enabled the integration of near-real-time health system clinical data, clinical trial management system data, T cell manufacturing data, and patient sample biomarker data into a single operable dashboard.

Rhode Island Quality Institute
The Rhode Island Quality Institute (RIQI), Providence, is a not-for-profit, community-based organization focused on improving care quality and value in Rhode Island. As part of its mission, RIQI operates the Rhode Island’s statewide health information exchange (HIE), CurrentCare. In that context, RIQI has developed and implemented Hospital Alerts, a program in which CurrentCare monitors the information coming in from hospitals and emergency departments, looking for admissions and discharges of patients enrolled in CurrentCare, and automatically sending a Direct message to the primary care physician, when an event occurs, letting the PCP know about the patient’s health event.

North Shore-LIJ Health System
A team at North Shore-LIJ Health System, a health system based out of Manhasset, N.Y., is leading the way in improving care management for high-risk pregnancies. The team, led by Michael Oppenheim, M.D., CMIO at North Shore-LIJ, created an interoperable comprehensive prenatal care record with data derived from multiple outpatient EHRs and prenatal imaging centers. It is shared by outpatient providers during the prenatal period and to Labor and Delivery (L&D) to support intrapartum care.

“Given the number of different specialists involved in the care of the high-risk mother, and the importance of communication between those providers in the prenatal period the criticality of that information to support the patient during Labor and Delivery, High Risk Pregnancy was the ideal clinical entity to focus on,” Oppenheim says.

Baystate Medical Center
Labor is similarly the focus for leaders at the Springfield Mass.-based research and teaching hospital, Baystate Medical Center. The hospital used a perinatal-specific EHR to successfully institute a hard-stop policy eliminating the procedures of elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks of gestation and elective inductions of labor in patients at increased risk for cesarean deliveries. They tracked each birth delivery and induction and stratifying all patient types and situations.

“In the new healthcare environment, there has been a push to decrease the length of stay. Patients undergoing prolonged elective inductions often have longer hospital stays than their counterparts who are admitted in spontaneous labor. Furthermore, a significant percentage of patients who undergo elective induction of labor wind up requiring a cesarean section, which further increases the length of stay,” says Andrew Healy, M.D., medical director of obstetrics at Baystate Health.

Care at Home Health
Care at Home Health, a home health agency in Campbell, Calif., created a mobile application that supports caregiver safety. Teaming with San Mateo, Calif.-based AtHoc, Care at Home created an app that allows for improved care coordination within an industry that operates in silos. It allows on-site visitors to communicate with the home office in the case of a safety/security event, and to report results of a visit.
“Home healthcare is a rapidly growing, $100-plus billion market, but care provision poses significant communication and care coordination challenges: instead of working in the physical confines of a hospital or outpatient facility, home healthcare clinicians are mobile and distributed over large geographies,” says Jason Grinstead, president at Care at Home.