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Study: EMR Risk Stratification Can Reduce Readmissions

August 1, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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An electronic medical record (EMR)-enabled strategy that targets scarce care transition resources to high risk heart failure (HF) patients can reduce hospital readmissions, according to a new study in the British Medical Journal Quality & Safety.  

The study, conducted by investigators from PCCI, a non-profit research and development corporation, evaluated 1,747 adult inpatients admitted with HF, acute myocardial infarction, and pneumonia over two years at Parkland Memorial Hospital, a 780-bed teaching hospital in Dallas, Texas. The software sits above the EMR and stratifies patients admitted with HF on a daily basis by 30-day readmission risk, as defined by a published HF readmission reduction electronic model.

By using the real-time risk stratification program and concentrating intensive care management and cardiac resources on about one-quarter of the patients admitted with HF, study investigators found that the hospital was able to produce a 26 percent relative reduction in the odds of readmission and an absolute reduction of five readmissions per 100 index HF admissions.

“This is one of the first prospective studies to demonstrate how detailed data in EMRs can be used in real-time to automatically identify and target patients at the highest risk of readmission early in their initial hospitalization when there is a lot that can be done to improve and coordinate their care, so they will do well when they leave the hospital,” Ethan Halm, M.D., a senior author on the paper and professor of internal medicine and clinical sciences at the University of Texas Southwestern, said in a statement.



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