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Carolinas Healthcare System Announces Comprehensive Analytics Program

December 4, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The Charlotte, N.C.-based Carolinas HealthCare System has announced that it has developed and adopted several capabilities that integrate data analytics for evidenced-based population health management, individualized patient care, and predictive data modeling.

These capabilities were created with the understanding that the future of healthcare is being fundamentally changed by data and technology, and sustainability of quality care is dependent upon the ability to understand and use data in a meaningful way. This includes developing advanced healthcare analytics and creating an enterprise data warehouse to store 10 terabytes of patient-centered data— equivalent to storing the entire printed collection from the Library of Congress.

The new analytics capabilities include readmission risk modeling that can help providers predict a patient’s 30-day readmission risk with nearly 80 percent statistical accuracy. Forty different patient variables deemed highly predictive of unplanned readmission are pulled daily from electronic medical records (EMRs), and are analyzed and delivered in real-time to healthcare providers who then can prioritize high-risk patients and customize care for patients.

“At Carolinas HealthCare System, we have more than 10.5 million patient encounters in a variety of care settings each year and have used de-identified, rich data to develop innovative models that can be scaled broadly,” Allen Naidoo, Ph.D., vice president of advanced analytics for Carolinas HealthCare System, said in a statement. “We are able to integrate clinical, claims and billing data and are one of the few healthcare systems that have been able to accomplish this on such a large scale.”

The System also developed an outpatient analytics tool that allows its providers to benchmark and monitor patient improvements across facilities. Using EMR data to analyze care patterns and disease trends for more than 1.5 million patients, healthcare providers can segment, and then stratify, patient data by demographics, geography and clinical diagnoses. Called geospotting, this is the crux for the System’s population health capabilities. It analyzes the layers within a community and combines geographic information systems and predictive models to identify health needs and outcomes, according to officials.

Carolinas HealthCare System began incorporating clinical and financial data across its continuum of care in 2011 and later created an in-house advanced analytics group, Dickson Advanced Analytics, dedicated to creating strategic, long-term programs for developing and implementing healthcare analytics. Through the group’s work, Carolinas HealthCare System can share diverse clinical and patient experiences and data to develop solutions that address unmet healthcare needs, its officials say.

Earlier this year, Carolinas HealthCare System, which has more than 900 care locations in North and South Carolina, also joined the Data Alliance Collaborative—an initiative aimed at improving population health on a national scale through data analytics and shared business intelligence. The collaborative allows members to co-develop solutions that integrate data and resources from four geographically distinct healthcare systems, operating nearly 100 hospitals and more than 1,600 non-acute sites caring for 28 million people.

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