When Advocate Health Care became part of an Accountable Care Organization in 2011, it knew it had to leverage its data in a way that was more centered on the patient. Thanks to predictive analytics and a partnership with health IT outfit Cerner, Advocate has made inroads toward achieving that goal, delivering better care and even reducing some of its readmissions in the process.
“As we’ve shifted the priorities in supporting the organization with population health and our ACO, we’ve been able to contract our different approaches to data and IT,” said Tina Esposito, vice president of Advocate’s Center for Health and Information Services. “That’s really trickled down into this new paradigm. We’ve built a data warehouse that’s been clinically focused.”
Before the shift, the data was there, but it was disparate, siloed. It couldn’t be combined to form a broad, panoramic picture of a person’s health — what could be improved, and what might be done to prevent them from having to come back unnecessarily.
“We’ve pieced all of this data together, and that reflects all aspects of care for that patient,” said Esposito. “We want to understand how care is being decided, whether financial, clinical or operational.”
The first step was to create a longitudinal view of the patient that spans all appropriate data sources and how they interact with Advocate and that, in turn, benefits the patients and the health system itself.
Advocate has been able to reduce readmissions, for instance, by tracking what happens to the patient once they’re discharged — whether they transitioned into a home health situation, what outcome that led to, and whether they ended up back in the hospital. The data can be used to determine where clinicians intervened and where they didn’t.
Predictive analytics are key, said Esposito. Algorithms can now predict which patients may incur some unnecessary utilization, and help clinicians understand when it may be appropriate to intervene.
“We can’t prevent asthma,” Esposito said. “But what we try to prevent are factors that could lead to an emergency department visit, something that, if it had been better managed, would not have occurred.”
Particular to asthma, Esposito said that Advocate can prevent acute attacks, worsening symptoms and an ER visit.
“There still a lot of work to be done,” she said. “We’ve had some successes, but there’s still so much to do.”
Esposito will share Advocate’s experience during the HIMSS17 session, “Making health IT patient-centered,” on Monday, Feb. 20 at 1:30 – 2:30 in Room 207C.
HIMSS17 runs from Feb. 19-23, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center.
This article is part of our ongoing coverage of HIMSS17. Visit Destination HIMSS17 for previews, reporting live from the show floor and after the conference.