In early 2014 I wrote about the efforts in Oregon and Washington to improve information flow between emergency departments. Hospitals in the Pacific Northwest deploy a solution called the Emergency Department Information Exchange (EDIE), a software tool for proactively notifying EDs when high-utilization or special needs patients register. The information includes those patients’ prior ED visit history, primary care provider information, and associated care plans.
Now six hospitals in California’s East Bay have announced that they are partnering to improve care for frequent ED patients. With the implementation of the PreManage ED system, all six hospitals are now alerted when a frequent patient registers at any one of their ERs.
This joint effort between Sutter Health and Alameda Health System provides a secure, portable health record and care plan for each patient. The hospitals include Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland and Berkeley, Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch and Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, Highland Hospital in Oakland and San Leandro Hospital in San Leandro. Funding for the implementation of PreManage ED includes philanthropic investment from Sutter Health’s nonprofit foundation, Better Health East Bay, and the California Health Care Foundation.
The PreManage ED tool was developed by Collective Medical Technologies, the same company that developed the EDIE software being used in Oregon and Washington. It has been implemented at Alta Bates Summit’s Berkeley and Oakland campuses since mid-March and at Highland Hospital since late April. San Leandro Hospital, Sutter Delta Medical Center and Eden Medical Center came online in May and June respectively.
Since implementing PreManage ED in March, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center registered 16,119 individual patients on the system, with nearly 10 percent of those patients having had six or more emergency room visits in the past 12 months. Approximately 2,000 of the total patients registered had also visited Highland Hospital's emergency room since Highland joined PreManage ED in April. Of those patients, 36 percent had six or more emergency room visits in the prior 12 months.
“By implementing PreManage ED throughout our hospitals, we are leading a huge culture shift in how healthcare is delivered, putting the patient squarely at the center of care,” said Arthur Sorrell, M.D., physician informaticist and chair of the Sutter Emergency Department Leadership Council, in a prepared statement “This tool will help us break down organizational silos and share information seamlessly across healthcare providers. Collaborative partnerships like this are a major step forward to benefiting our emergency teams and shared patients.”