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 Industry Watch

Industry Watch

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   December 2013

Mobile Apps

‘Superbugs’ app created by Epocrates

Infectious agents beware.

Epocrates Bugs + Drugs is a first-of-its-kind, free mobile app for clinicians that combines cloud-based clinical data with a user-friendly mobile interface to pinpoint local bacterial “superbugs” and help physicians choose appropriate drug treatments. The iOS 7 app provides up-to-date geolocated information about bacteria types and resistance patterns, while simultaneously supporting appropriate antibiotic prescribing. It is the first jointly released product from athenahealth and Epocrates.

Traditionally, hospitals have tracked resistance trends via inpatients. Bugs + Drugs goes beyond the hospital setting, transforming lab results from athenahealth’s cloud-based EHR database of 15 million patients into geotargeted data to help physicians identify common and uncommon bugs in the communities where their patients live. Clinicians can then access critical resistance information to formulate the best treatment plan.

“This app is a perfect example of pairing athenahealth’s big data with Epocrates’ mobile expertise to better equip caregivers to make confident and efficient decisions in the moments of care,” says Dr. Anne Meneghetti, executive director of medical information at Epocrates, an athenahealth company. “It’s one step closer to personalized medicine.”

Epocrates has reported more than 100,000 downloads in the first month of this app’s release. Bugs + Drugs is available in the iTunes App Store

Source: Epocrates



The value of EMRs




3D holographic images in the OR

The future is now when it comes to 3D imaging. That, at least, is the mantra being chanted by members of a partnership between Royal Philips and RealView Imaging. The team announced in October that it had completed a clinical study demonstrating the feasibility of using live 3D holographic visualization and interaction technology to guide minimally invasive structural heart disease procedures. The pilot study, which involved eight patients, was conducted in collaboration with the Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petach Tikva, Israel. RealView’s visualization technology was used to display real-time 3D holographic images acquired by Philips’ interventional X-ray and cardiac ultrasound systems.

Doctors in the interventional team were also able to view detailed, dynamic 3D holographic images of the heart “floating in free space” during a heart procedure – without using special eyewear. The doctors were able to manipulate the projected 3D heart structures by literally touching the holographic volumes in front of them. The study demonstrated the potential of the technology to enhance the context and guidance of structural heart repairs.

Source: Philips Healthcare



Cloud enables wide-scale adoption

The newly FDA-cleared Intel-GE Care Innovations Connect RCM (remote care management) platform is helping remote patient monitoring take a big step forward in terms of ease of use and data collection for patients, providers, and payers. The big news here is that providers and payers no longer need to supply a dedicated in-home telehealth device to patients with chronic diseases or in post-acute discharge situations. Patients need, at a minimum, only an Internet-connected PC, tablet, or phone to access the Care Innovations Guide platform with Connect RCM. An annual enterprise subscription model simplifies remote care program economics for providers; it is based on the number of clinicians and administrators instead of a linear per-patient cost model.

The cloud-based Connect RCM application facilitates the collection and transmission of daily biometric data measurements and provides access to clinician-directed health sessions, videoconferencing, and interactive education delivery. Visit to learn more.

Source: Intel-GE Care Innovations



1,099 ‘Top Performer’ hospitals named in JC annual report

Thirty-three percent of Joint Commission-accredited hospitals reporting accountability measure data for 2012 are Top Performer hospitals, according to “Improving America’s Hospitals: The Joint Commission’s Annual Report on Quality and Safety 2013.” These hospitals use evidence-based care processes that are delivered “in the right way and at the right time.”

The Top Performer designation is based on performance related to accountability measures for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children’s asthma care, inpatient psychiatric services, venous thromboembolism (VTE) care, stroke care, and immunization. Hospitals are required to select and report on four measure sets, and each of the recognized hospitals had to achieve cumulative performance of 95 percent or above for all reported accountability measures. They also had to achieve performance of 95 percent or above on each and every reported accountability measure where there were at least 30 denominator cases. In addition, at least one core measure set had a composite rate of 95 percent or above, and within that measure set all applicable individual accountability measures had a performance rate of 95 percent or above.

The “Top Performer on Key Quality Measures” hospitals named in the new report represent a 77 percent increase in Top Performer organizations from last year. Of the 1,099 Top Performer hospitals, 424 achieved the distinction for two years in a row, and 182 have earned the recognition every year since the program’s inception in 2011. Another 20 percent of Joint Commission-accredited hospitals reporting accountability measure performance data for 2012 were only one measure short of the Top Performer goal.

The list of Top Performer hospitals and measure sets is available online at The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization.

Source: The Joint Commission


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