During a recent panel discussion on the future of healthcare, Jonathan Perlin, M.D., chief medical officer at Nashville-based HCA Healthcare, emphasized that learning from and analyzing medical data will be critical to improving patient outcomes.
The discussion two weeks ago was part of the event, “Nashville Business Journal’s Health Care of the Future: Data Science” breakfast at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville, as reported by the Nashville Business Journal last week. Perlin was joined on stage by a panel of Nashville healthcare and tech leaders, as they discussed how healthcare data is being analyzed.
As the report stated, Perlin said during the session, “The question is not whether hospital systems are creating data, it is whether they are learning from it. One area where HCA has used data to improve care is in preventing infections.”
HCA’s chief medical officer noted that one in every 20 patients who come into the hospital will leave with an infection that they didn’t have upon entering. This results in 80,000 deaths per year, he said. As such, HCA leaders believed they needed to capture the data from three competing treatments as 75,000 patients at 43 hospitals entered intensive care units.
As explained in the report, the first approach was to screen patients for MRSA infections and, if they tested positive, they would be treated in isolation. The second was to isolate MRSA-positive patients and give them an anti-septic sponge bath and nose antibiotic. And the final treatment was to skip the screenings and give all patients an anti-septic sponge bath and nose antibiotic.
The study found that the third treatment reduced MRSA by 37 percent and cut life-threatening blood stream infections by 44 percent, Perlin said. He added that it was the first large-scale implementation of computerized data to answer a healthcare problem.
It was just one example of how healthcare data is being analyzed on a global scale, Perlin said.
Read the entire story in the Nashville Business Journal here.