Case Study: Improving Heart Failure Readmissions Rates 

During Heart Failure Awareness Week (Feb. 9-15), the LUMEDX blog will post on topics related to heart failure program management.

In this case study, we will examine how a hospital system utilized performance improvement processes and data analysis to lower heart failure readmissions rates.

Background:

A hospital system found that its largest expense category over several years was in heart failure (HF) patients due to high readmissions rates. Hospital administrators determined that reducing readmissions rates would enable cost reduction and improve patient care.

The Model for Improvement:

With guidance from the LUMEDX Healthcare Consultants, the hospital employed the Model for Improvement as a foundation for change.

The model asks three questions:

  • What are we trying to accomplish?
  • How will we know that a change has resulted in improvement?
  • What changes can we make that will lead to improvement?

By working with LUMEDX to answer the questions above, the hospital developed concrete goals. They determined that charting current trends would provide the best basis for prediction and rapid detection of changes.

Next, LUMEDX and staff at the hospital went through a series of PDSA Cycles to test, adapt, and implement the new improvement plan – deploying a nurse case manager who would provide coaching for individual heart failure patients who had left the hospital.

During the cycles, the hospital:

  • Designed and reviewed the case manager concept with doctors, nursing staff, and hospital administration
  • Conducted small-scale tests with select groups of patients before evaluating and modifying the plan based on results
  • Summarized learnings, and implemented the final plan across the entire patient population

Conclusion:

After full implementation of the case management plan, data showed that the strategy was effective in that readmissions rates declined (see graph below).

By using data analysis, the hospital system can continue to make methodical, informed improvements in its heart failure program.

For more information on LUMEDX Healthcare Consulting, click here.

 

Heart Failure Awareness Week: Improving Your HF Program 

This week, we celebrate Heart Failure Awareness Week (Feb. 9-15) along with the Heart Failure Society of America. Statistics show that heart failure.

  • Affects 5.8 million people in the U.S., with over 600,000 more diagnosed each year;
  • Is one of the fastest growing heart disease conditions, with an expected increase of 25% by 2030;
  • And cost the U.S. $39.2 billion in 2010 through health care services, medications, and productivity losses.

We at LUMEDX understand that in addition to educating patients on heart failure facts, symptoms, and preventative measures, it is also vital to examine the care provider’s side – namely, how to tackle the many challenges associated with managing a successful heart failure program.

Heart hospitals strive to provide timely, highest quality treatment to patients across the entire continuum of care – while finding ways to reduce costs, protect reimbursements, and manage populations efficiently. With a successful heart failure program in place, hospitals can improve patient outcomes by reducing readmissions and mortality rates while also saving time and money.

It is critical for clinicians, hospital administrators, vendors, and other stakeholders to come together and share ideas on how to optimize management and treatment of heart failure patient populations – both now and moving forward.

To add to this conversation, LUMEDX invites you to join us for a complimentary webinar next week on Heart Failure outcomes analytics: Using Analytics to Identify and Manage Heart Failure Patients. The webinar will take place next Thursday, February 20 at 1pm Eastern Time. You can register by clicking here.

We will continue to post on topics related to heart failure awareness for the rest of this week, and look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments. Follow us on Twitter and Google+ for more. 

Best of Health IT News: Week of 02/06/14 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss.

Also, tune in next week as we celebrate Heart Failure Awareness Week!

What Consumer-Driven Healthcare Really Means 

Information Week discusses what healthcare organizations need to do in order to achieve online patient engagement.The article states that healthcare organizations need to use marketing in order to drive consumer engagement on healthcare online portals. 

Patient Engagement Gains Momentum 

According to Healthcare IT News, patients are beginning to engage with their healthcare. Mobile health devices, sensors, and IT solutions are helping patients to participate and engage with healthcare providers more fully. 

USDA Doles Out Millions For Rural Telemedicine Initiatives 

iHealthBeat reports on the USDA's announcement that it will be awarding nearly $16 million in grants to help fund telehealth and distance learning initiatives in rural areas. 

Health, Prevention and Wellness: Our Focus This Month, Every Month

In the Huffington Post, Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, discusses how heart disease is the number-1 killer of Americans. While 1 in 30 female deaths is from breast cancer, 1 in 3 is from heart disease. As we embark on Heart Awareness Month in 2014, we need to continue the conversation around heart disease. 

Best of Health IT News: Week of 01/30/14 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss. 

ONC to keep tabs on HIE reporting requirement

FierceHealthIT discusses how the office of the National Coordinator for Health Informatino Technology intends to keep tabs on state HIEs by requiring an annual report. 

Health IT moving to critical step 

According to a conference on the state of the healthcare IT industry, the second boom in healthcare IT is happening now. Because the last four years have been spent installing new hardware and software at healthcare facilities, providers will now work on using healthcare data in meaningful, prescriptive ways. 

The hope and challenge of social media for chronic disease care 

Government Health IT reports on how researchers have found that social media empowers users and motivates them to take personal responsibility for health behavior. They also provide a network of support, motivation, and disease management education. 

Report finds volumes of health IT M&A deals declined by 16% 

According to a report published by Berkery Noyes, the overall volume of mergers and acquisitions in the health IT sector declined by 16% annually from 2011 through 2013. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014 3:03:00 PM Categories: EHR health information exchange health IT HIT hospitals industry news mobile devices ONC

Best of Health IT News: Week of 01/23/14 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss. 

Survey says: EHR incentive program is on track 

According to the annual National Ambulatory Medical Care Surgery, numbers are on track for EHR adoption. Nearly 80% of office-based physicians now use an electronic health record system, and almost 70% of office-based physicians noted intent to participate in the EHR incentive program. 

3 Trends are Reshaping Healthcare IT 

Information Week reports on three current trends that are shaping healthcare IT today, including: gaming (as a means of improving patient fitness and cognitive health), telehealth, and health-specific social networks. 

Health data security improves despite IT lagging behind other sectors 

SearchHealthIT reports on how even though the technology in health IT can be lagging in some areas, data security -- which is driven by HIPAA compliance and business requirements -- is continually improving. 

Insecure healthcare.gov allowed hacker to access 70,000 records in four minutes

Computerworld reports that David Kennedy, CEO of TrustedSec, has stated that the healthcare.gov website is insecure. Kennedy told Fox News that he was able to access 70,000 records within four minutes. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014 3:18:00 PM Categories: EHR electronic health records HIT industry news ONC

Best of Health IT News: Week of 01/16/14 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss. 

10 Up-and-Coming Healthcare Jobs for 2014 

Interested in going into the healthcare industry or contemplating a job change for 2014? Becker's Hospital Review reports on the top-growing occupations within the industry for 2014. 

ONC offers guidelines on curbing health IT safety risks

The ONC is making efforts to improve safety within hospitals and health care providers utilizing health care IT solutions. Newly released guides provide sets of checklists and recommended methods of dealing with safety risks. 

Study calls for shift in focus in EHR, meaningful use studies 

iHealthBeat reports that reporting on contextual and implementation details of clinical decision support tools and computerized provider order entry systems has been poor. Researchers recommend changing the way that EHRs and meaningful use are evaluated. 

Consumers now call for meaningful use

According to Healthcare IT News, patients are now demanding meaningful use of electronic health data. At the Digital Health Summit last week, keynote speakers revealed that consumers want control over their own health information.

Thursday, January 16, 2014 3:46:00 PM Categories: health IT HIT industry news

Best of Health IT News: Week of 01/09/14  

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss. 

Meaningful Use Comes to CES

At the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the federal government's plan to drive health IT adoption was a part of the conversation at the Digital Health Summit. Keynote speakers presented on how devices and solutions should be focused on giving consumers control over their healthcare information. 

Report Says Connected Health Device Market Will Reach $8B by 2018 

In other healthcare IT news, iHealthBeat reports that the sale of connected health and wellness devices will increase by 142% from $3.3 billion in 2013 to more than $8 billion in 2018. These numbers are according to a report from the Consumer Electronics Association and was produced with Parks Associates. 

6 Musts for Healthcare Execs for 2014

Healthcare IT News makes recommendations for healthcare executives in 2014. Tips include a focus on physician executives, expanding the CIO role, increasing finance knowledge, and more. 

Health IT is Growing Rapidly Through 2017

According to Information Week, the North American health IT market is poised to grow at an annual  rate of 7.4% and will reach a total value of $31.3 billion in 2017. In 2012, the market's total value was $21.9 billion. 

Thursday, January 09, 2014 11:48:00 AM Categories: best practices cardiology EHR electronic health records health IT HIT industry news

Best of Health IT News: Week of 01/02/14 

Happy New Year! Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss. 

North American Health IT Market to Reach $31.3B by 2017

In more good news for the healthcare IT sector, iHealthBeat projects that according to a recent report from Research and Markets, the healthcare IT market is poised to reach $31.3B by the year 2017. 

2014: Big HIT Market Expansion Ahead

Government Health IT forecasts that in the coming year, there will be a large expansion of the healthcare IT market. This expansion will be driven by factors including the pressure to cut healthcare costs, increasing demand of healthcare system integration, financial support from the U.S. government, and more. 

Digital Health in 2014: the Imperative of Connectivity 

Forbes discusses how in 2014, healthcare IT providers and decision makers will need to tackle the issue of connectivity. Critical areas to consider include initial patient connectivity to a device, the connection between the health care provider and the patient, compliance and adherence, and more. 

Extended safe harbor to aid meaningful use, interoperability 

EHR Intelligence reports that the Office of Inspector General has extended the sunset data for electronic health records safe harbor to December 31, 2021. 

Thursday, January 02, 2014 9:41:00 AM Categories: industry news

Best of Health IT News: Week of 12/19/13 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss. 

My Favorite Health IT Quotes of 2013 

Healthcare Informatics Contributing Editor David Raths compiles a list of his favorite moments in healthcare IT in 2013. One favorite quote was Farzad Mostashari's statement that "...Our longer term vision is that every healthcare interaction benefits from all the world's knowledge." 

Healthcare analytics market growth to skyrocket

FierceHealthIT reports on a new report from MarketsandMarkets that projects that the global healthcare analytics market will be worth more than $21 billion by 2020. Federal mandates, technological advances, increased healthcare IT adoption, and venture capital investments are cited as strong market drivers.

Continued Troubles with Healthcare.gov May Drive Up Costs

CBS reports that the problems with the Healthcare.gov website may lead to higher prices for many Americans if the technical problems deter young people from signing up. Enrollment continues to lag behind in projections, and more younger, healthier customers are needed in order to address an age imbalance. 

Best of Health IT News: Week of 12/12/13 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss. 

Government Health IT Report Expected Early 2014 

According to MedPage Today, a strategy report from the FDA, ONC, and the Federal Communications Commission will come out next year with recommendations on promoting innovation in health information technology. 

Stakeholders Continue to Comment on New Meaningful Use Timeline

On Friday, December 8, 2013, CMS revised the meaningful use timeline to extend Stage 2 through 2016, and to have Stage 3 begin in 2017 for health care providers who have completed at least two years of Stage 2. Stakeholders such as the AMA, AHA, and various vendors have weighed in with their opinions on the delay. 

mHealth, Cloud Computing to Dominate Healthcare in 2014

Fierce Mobile Healthcare predicts that mobile health and cloud computing will be the top trends for healthcare in 2014. According to a study by research firm Frost & Sullivan, "...as more healthcare IT and patient monitoring tools are integrated, every hospital facility will eventually have to acquire a fully-enterprise wireless solution." 

Whopping $17B Paid Out So Far for MU 

Healthcare IT News reports that the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs have paid out $17 billion to eligible hospitals and healthcare providers. The incentive program's goal is to speed adoption of EHRs within healthcare facilities. 

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