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Health Management Technology News
  February 21, 2014
In this issue:

Marin General Hospital wins Frost & Sullivan's CIO Innovator of the Year

Versus unveils business intelligence software

IBM predictive analytics to detect patients at risk for heart failure

Google Fiber may be coming to city near you

Marin General Hospital wins Frost & Sullivan's CIO Innovator of the Year

CareInSync, developer of the Carebook evidence-based mobile care coordination platform, proudly congratulates Somayaji Bulusu, M.S., PMP, former CIO of Marin General Hospital (MGH), for receiving Frost & Sullivan's small-to-medium-size enterprise CIO Innovator of the Year award, and Marin General Hospital for winning the CIO Impact Best In Class Award in the Mobility category.  A CareInSync client, Marin General Hospital, the only full-service, 235-bed hospital in Marin County, launched the nation's first-ever Mobile Care Navigation Network (MCNN) to virtually connect care teams handling patient transitions across different care settings.

Bulusu, currently CIO at Brown & Toland Physicians, received the awards at Frost & Sullivan's CIO Impact Award Gala on Feb. 11.  Mark Zielazinski, current CIO of MGH, accepted the Best in Class Award on behalf of the hospital.  Bulusu dedicated these honors to the team at Marin General Hospital, specifically crediting medical director Susan Cumming, M.D., as the principal supporter of the award-winning Carebook project.  Each nominated project was entered into one of six technology-specific categories, and evaluated by a panel of expert Frost & Sullivan judges.  Winners were carefully picked by the expert panel by screening for teams and individuals that enabled breakthrough new business models and strategies through the innovative use of transformative technologies.

"Lowering readmissions, improving patient care and safety, and raising patient and staff satisfaction are top-of-mind concerns of healthcare executives," said Steve Curd, president and CEO of CareInSync. "We commend Soma, Dr. Cumming and Mark for earning these remarkable awards, validating their vision and commitment to addressing the complex coordination necessary to improve patient care transitions. The results generated by Marin General Hospital within just a few months of deploying their Carebook-based MCNN are remarkable. This recognition attests to the powerful transformation of mobilizing real-time, cross-continuum care coordination."

Dr. Cumming recognized that discharge from inpatient care is a vulnerable time for patients, who face challenges such as managing new medical conditions, integrating new prescriptions into their self-care routine, and pursuing follow-up care and testing.  She and Bulusu used the Carebook evidence-based care coordination platform to create a patient-centered mobile care navigation network (MCNN) connecting multi-disciplinary care teams that include hospital clinicians, aftercare providers and community-based service providers. All connections are in real time and replace antiquated communication methods such as pagers, paper, unsecured email and faxing, increasing patient and staff satisfaction.

Creating the MCNN helped Marin General Hospital achieve its goals of re-engineering the hospital's discharge and aftercare processes to coordinate safe, smooth and timely patient care transitions. After just eight months in operation, the hospital achieved a compelling 22 percent reduction in 30-day all-cause readmission rates for patients age 65 and older, a half-day reduction in average length of stay, and an 18 percent improvement in care transitions patient experience (HCAHPS). Click here to review the Marin General Hospital case study.

Read the full San Francisco Business Times press release here

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Versus unveils business intelligence software

Versus Technology, Inc. is celebrating 25 years of successful workflow automation in healthcare and the debut of several advancements in its Real-time Locating System (RTLS) at the annual Health Information Management Systems Society conference (HIMSS14), February 24-27, 2014 in Orlando, Fla.

Healthcare executives at HIMSS will be seeking out ways to improve operations as they struggle with increased patient volumes brought on by the Affordable Care Act. Coupled with the HITECH Act requirements for electronic documentation, recent CMS reimbursement changes, and the upcoming switch to ICD-10, the burden on healthcare staff has never been greater. Information technology systems such as RTLS that can automate workflows, reduce data entry and accurately document performance metrics are in high demand.

While providing real-time efficiency in the moment, Versus automatically collects accurate, unbiased data to drive meaningful process improvement. Version 5.0 of the company’s advanced reporting software, Reports Plus Analytics, will be unveiled at HIMSS14. The blockbuster upgrade features several new reports specifically focused on daily healthcare problems — workflow efficiency, capacity management, safety, and resource allocation. These reports, developed hand-in-hand with healthcare administrators and clinicians, offer unprecedented insight into facility workflows, trends and benchmark achievement.

The new reporting package can be seen at the Versus booth, #3673, where new options for non-invasive RTLS installation will also be on display, including a new, soon to be released Wi-Fi option. Versus’ multiple mix-and-match platforms allow facilities to quickly and easily add locations to their existing RTLS, or plan for future expansions.

Wi-Fi — The wireless V-Fi platform will allow facilities to leverage their existing wi-fi infrastructure without sacrificing the accuracy necessary for workflow automation. The plug-in Smart-IR™ sensor detects locations using Versus’ patented, accurate infrared (IR) technology and transmits data using existing wi-fi access points.

Wireless — The 2nd-generation V-Link platform is easy to install, with battery-powered sensors that don’t burden the wi-fi network.

Wired — Now in its 11th generation, the Versus V-Direct wired platform offers the lowest total cost of ownership and minimal maintenance.

The platforms all work with the same Versus badges and tags, including a new mini asset tag and soon to be released patient wrist badge. Each platform can drive workflow automation with same IR accuracy Versus is known for.

That accuracy and automation will be on display in Booth #3673 at Versus’ new RTLS Experience Center, a live environment with active technology driving real-time demonstrations. Participants will learn how automated patient flow, hand hygiene monitoring, integrations and reporting analytics can improve healthcare efficiency and quality, ultimately increasing profitability.

Read the full Versus press release here

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IBM predictive analytics to detect patients at risk for heart failure

IBM today announced that Virginia health system Carilion Clinic has identified 8,500 patients at risk for developing heart failure in a pilot project that could lead to early intervention and better care for these patients.

The pilot was completed in collaboration with IBM, Epic and Carilion Clinic. The results were achieved through predictive modeling of data in Carilion Clinic's electronic medical record (EMRs), including "unstructured" data such as clinicians' notes and discharge documents that are not often analyzed. Using IBM's natural language processing technology to analyze and understand these notes in the context of the EMR, the inclusion of unstructured data provides a more complete and accurate understanding of each patient. The pilot applied content analytics and predictive modeling to identify at-risk patients with an 85 percent accuracy rate. The model identified an additional 3500 patients that would have been missed with traditional methods. Each of these patients might benefit from targeted preventive care.

Heart failure currently afflicts more than five million U.S. adults, half of whom will not survive five years after diagnosis according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Often caused by other conditions such as hypertension or diabetes, heart failure deprives the body of blood and oxygen needed to support the vital organs. Heart failure is one of the most common causes of hospitalization for people age 65 and older, and costs the nation $32 billion each year.

Early detection and prevention of heart failure has proven difficult prior to the introduction of advanced analytics.

"We've learned that predictive analytics insights from both structured and unstructured data is imperative to meet our goal of improving patient care at lower costs," said Steve Morgan, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer, Carilion Clinic. "We were very impressed with the accuracy and usability of IBM's predictive modeling, which the IBM team developed and deployed in six weeks. These results and innovations are helping us move the needle on quality and the costs of care."

IBM's natural language processing technology -- also used in the IBM Watson cognitive system -- can understand information posed in natural language and uncover insights from vast amounts of data. Coupled with advanced predictive modeling, the pilot at Carilion Clinic using IBM Advanced Care Insights marks another example of IBM's leadership in advancing predictive care and prevention. IBM Advanced Care Insights combines predictive modeling with healthcare-specific content analysis.

"Many predictive factors are included in structured data within today's EMR systems, but a lot of it is hidden in doctors' notes, discharge papers, and other sources of unstructured data," said Sean Hogan, vice president of global healthcare, IBM. "By tapping into the unstructured data, our clients have more complete and accurate information that allows them to make targeted interventions when appropriate that can help prevent more severe and costly medical complications."

Read the full The Wall Street Journal article here

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Google Fiber may be coming to city near you

Google Fiber, the company's young and super fast Internet network, is spreading to several major cities across the United States.

In a blog post Wednesday, Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) said it's exploring plans to lay down the special cables in nine metro areas: Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Jose. That includes 34 cities in those regions.

City mayors from across the country have already called for private partnerships to boost their local Internet connections. Now Google is asking city governments for infrastructure blueprints and a streamlined construction process to scope out the construction costs.

Google Fiber delivers Internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second. That's 100 times faster than most current high-speed Internet networks.

You could download an entire music album in under six seconds and a feature-length movie in 38 seconds with Google Fiber.

Google, which first launched the service in 2012, has already done so in Kansas City, Kan.; Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah. Google connects fiber optic cables directly to a home or office in order to give them broadband Internet and television service.

In Kansas City and Provo, the ultra-fast Internet service costs $70 a month. Add video and it bumps up the price to $120. Google is also offering slower, free Internet for at least seven years for a construction fee, which ranges between $30 and $300.

Read the full CNN Money article here

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