IBM (Armonk, N.Y. ) announced that Southeast Texas Medical Associates (SETMA), a primary healthcare group based in Beaumont, Texas., is utilizing IBM business analytics software to gain greater insight into hospital re-admissions and review trend data that will help identify causes and design interventions to prevent patients from having to return to the hospital soon after their discharge.
According to an October 2010 study titled “Hospital Readmission: Influencing Factors Identified” at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), unplanned hospital readmission within 30 days—occurs in nearly one in five Medicare patients in the U.S. These readmissions are not only extremely costly, but it can put the patient at higher risk of increased illness, and in some cases death.
In just the first six months of the practice level research, SETMA has been able to cut the number of their patient hospital readmissions by twenty-two percent by helping doctors identify trends, and assess treatment protocols to support the creation of a more comprehensive post-hospital treatment care programs.
SETMA is utilizing IBM analytics software to identify the treatment interruptions and causes that lead a patient back into the hospital after discharge. Physicians are collecting data on specific patient characteristics that did not require re-admission, beyond traditional information to include ethnicity, socioeconomic groups, the follow-up care received, and how much and how quickly they were able to receive that care, against those who were re-admitted for hospital treatment. Utilizing IBM analytics software the clinicians are determining similarities within re-admitted patients, and are instituting new post-hospital treatment plans which will replace the typical transition of care documents to include recommendations, for example such as immediate at-home care, or interventional support if the patient lives alone. SETMA describes these types of treatments as the most vital component in a patient’s recovery plan.