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Docs Getting Lab Results on Smartphones Could Help Discharge Patients Faster

May 15, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Patients with chest pain who are in the emergency department, and whose attending emergency physicians received lab results directly to their smartphones, got discharged faster than patients whose doctors didn’t get that data on their smartphones, according to new research.

The results of a randomized, controlled trial of a quality improvement initiative were recently published online in Annals of Emergency Medicine. Indeed, the findings revealed that those patients whose ED doctors received lab results delivered direct to their smartphones spent about 26 minutes less waiting to be discharged than patients whose lab results were delivered to the electronic patient record on the hospital computer system.

Patients who come to the emergency department with chest pain have blood drawn to test for troponin levels, which, if elevated, indicate a heart attack.  In this study, the overall median interval from final troponin results to discharge decision was 79.7 minutes.  For the control group (no smartphone), it was 94.3 minutes and for the intervention group (smartphone) it was 68.5 minutes. The difference of 25.8 minutes is “statistically significant,” according to the report’s authors. The total emergency department length of stay was 345 minutes in the control group and 328 minutes in the intervention group, which researchers did not consider statistically significant.

The study was conducted at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre over an eight-month span in 2014. Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is a tertiary care, academic center, fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, with an annual ED census of 58,500 patients. During the study’s timeframe, 1,554 patients were discharged from the ED with chest pain. There were 551 patients in the control group and 554 in the intervention group who met inclusion criteria.

“For patients waiting for lab results, 26 minutes is significant, even if the smartphone process did not shorten overall length of stay significantly,” study author Aikta Verma, M.D., of the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, said in a statement accompanying the findings. “For many patients, waiting for lab results that determine if they stay in the hospital or go home is the hardest part of the ER visit. Physicians who received troponin results on their smartphones made the decision to discharge their patients with chest pain a median of 26 minutes faster than physicians without troponin push-alert notifications.”

Dr. Verma added, “Our study demonstrated reduced time to discharge decision for chest pain patients by pushing troponin results to smartphones. There are many other results that could also be pushed: other critical lab results, radiology reports, vital signs, etc. For now, we recommend the use of the push-alert notification system to improve flow through the emergency department for chest pain patients.”

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LabCorp Joins Apple Health Records Project

November 5, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
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LabCorp, a provider of clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services, has announced that it has enabled Apple’s Health Records feature for its patients.

This iPhone feature aims to make it easier for LabCorp patients to access their LabCorp laboratory test results, along with other available medical data from multiple providers, whenever they choose, according to officials.

In January, Apple announced that it would be testing the Health Records feature out with 12 hospitals, inclusive of some of the most prominent healthcare institutions in the U.S. Since that time, more than 100 new organizations have joined the project,  according to Apple.

LabCorp test results are viewable in the Apple Health app for LabCorp patients who have an account with the company, and enable integration with the Health Records app. In addition to their LabCorp test results, patients will have information from participating healthcare institutions organized into one view, covering allergies, medical conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals.

Patients will receive notifications when their data is updated, and the Health Records data is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode, Touch ID or Face ID, according to officials.

“LabCorp on Health Records will help provide healthcare consumers with a more holistic view of their health. Laboratory test results are central to medical decision making, and broadening access to this information will help patients take charge of their health and wellness, and lead to more informed dialogues between patients and their healthcare providers,” David P. King, chairman and CEO of LabCorp, said in a statement.

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HIMSS Analytics Introduces Infrastructure Adoption Model for Health Systems

October 25, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
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HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, announced the introduction of the Infrastructure Adoption Model, or INFRAM, which is designed to measure the technical infrastructure used within a health system.

The INFRAM focuses on five technical subdomains, allowing organizations to benchmark how their infrastructure operates within the following areas: mobility; security; collaboration; transport; and data center.

Similar to HIMSS Analytics’ well-known Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model, or, EMRAM, the INFRAM is an eight-stage model (0 – 7) that allows healthcare IT leaders to map the technology infrastructure capabilities required to reach their facility’s clinical and operational goals, while meeting industry benchmarks and standards.  The final stage, Stage 7, guides organizations towards optimized information integration, contextualization and orchestration essential for the delivery of higher order local and virtualized care processes.

For reference purposes, Stage 0 on the model represents that an organization does not have a VPN, intrusion detection/prevention, security policy, data center or compute architecture. Stage 3 signifies that an organization has an advanced intrusion prevention system, while Stage 5 represents having video on mobile devices, location-based messaging, firewall with advanced malware protection, and real-time scanning of email hyperlinks.

HIMSS officials note that by identifying specific benchmarks for organizations to reach before they go live with EMR, systems, the INFRAM aims to ensure that a health system’s infrastructure is stable, manageable and extensible. Through this, organizations can ideally improve care delivery and create a pathway for infrastructure development tied to business and clinical outcomes.

 “The INFRAM is a welcome addition to our maturity model suite and addresses a longstanding need – guiding healthcare organizations in securely implementing the infrastructure with which their EMRs are built upon,” Blain Newton, executive vice president, HIMSS Analytics, said in a statement. “We have seen health systems engage with advanced clinical applications, only for them to ‘glitch’ under infrastructure that isn't powerful enough to support their tools. With the INFRAM, healthcare providers can develop a detailed, strategic technology plan that defines their organization's current state, desired future state, and each stage in between to achieve their clinical and operational goals.”

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Clinical Team Communication and Data Access in the Palm of Your Hand

Thursday, October 25, 2018 | 1:00 p.m. ET, 12:00 p.m. CT

Eisenhower Health, a west coast-based Magnet Hospital, implemented an enterprise-wide solution enabling mobile communications and collaboration across all care teams, linking the entire enterprise, advancing its communications capabilities, creating access to an enterprise directory, and improving care team response and turnaround times.

Additionally, the system provided extensive and comprehensive reporting with data analytics showing where and to what extent response improvements were made, but also providing the information the hospital needed to better utilize the system and make adjustments to improve results.

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