Free EMR Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on EMR, Meaningful Use, ARRA and Healthcare IT sent straight to your email? Join thousands of healthcare pros who subscribe to EMR and HIPAA for FREE!!

EMR Can Improve Diabetes Care

Posted on December 16, 2013 I Written By

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she’s served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

EMRs can help improve diabetes care by making care coordination of such patients more efficient, according to a study reported in iHealthBeat.

The federally-funded study, which was done by the Western New York Beacon Community, went to one of 17 Beacon Communities funded by ONCHIT, which has handed out $250.3 million in total grants.

In this case, the Beacon Community is a partnership between HealtheLink, Catholic Medical Partners and P2 Collaborative of Western New York. The partnership’s $16.1 million is the largest grant received by any of the 17 Beacon Communities.

To study the impact of EMRs on diabetes care, the partners looked at about 40,000 patients, and 344 primary care physicians working in 98 practices.

To implement the study, participants created diabetes registries that tracked lab tests and results, created personalized reminders and guidance for patients, and generated quarterly reports for physicians underscoring areas where they could cut costs and improve diabetic care, iHealthBeat said.

But the diabetic registry was just the beginning. The Beacon project also implemented preventive telemonitoring to avoid excess emergency department visits and hospital readmissions; medication therapy tools to alert doctors — in real time — of changes ED doctors make medication regiments, and patient portals giving patients access to prescription refills, appointment requests and lab results.

At the end of the study, researchers polled the 57 practices that consistently used the registries, and found that the number of diabetics with uncontrolled sugars levels fell 4 percent, with some practices seeing as much as a 10 percent improvement. Researchers calculated that if project guidelines were followed by 20 percent of patients with diabetes and their doctors in Western New York, savings could be $18 million.

This result echoes results of other studies. For example, last year researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College concluded that when a group of community-based doctors moved to EMRs , they provided better care, particularly in managing chlamydia, diabetes, colorectal cancer and breast cancer.

Microsoft Implements Chronic Condition Management Platform at Denver Health

Posted on April 25, 2011 I Written By

The program is based on a bidirectional, CCM platform that enables patient-provider communication. It facilitates patient-provided data collection through text message queries to diabetic patients about home blood sugar measurements and also facilitates sending reminders to patients of upcoming appointments. Case coordinators at Denver Health review self-reported patient data and follow up with patients by phone, in accordance with established clinical guidelines.

Program uses familiar technology for communication between caregivers and diabetes patients.

REDMOND, Wash., and DENVER — April 20, 2011 — Microsoft Corp. today announced early results from a Chronic Condition Management (CCM) platform deployment at Denver Health. The platform is the foundation of a larger program designed to encourage patients to self-manage conditions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes affects more than 25 million people, or a little more than 8 percent of the U.S. population.  Because of this, during the demonstration and study phases of the program, Denver Health first assessed the effectiveness of a between-visit, chronic-disease management program for its high-risk diabetes patients. The program is based on a bidirectional, CCM platform that enables patient-provider communication. It facilitates patient-provided data collection through text message queries to diabetic patients about home blood sugar measurements and also facilitates sending reminders to patients of upcoming appointments. Case coordinators at Denver Health review self-reported patient data and follow up with patients by phone, in accordance with established clinical guidelines.

In the first phase of Denver Health’s CCM program, patients both responded to the text messages and improved their home glucose monitoring. Providers reported on the engagement of patients around their diabetes care and on the identification of patients suffering from low blood sugar.

“The long-standing model of chronic disease management through the standard provider office visit does not support the patients’ need to manage their disease on a daily basis. We believe that using bidirectional communications within a chronic condition management system may be an effective method to provide care for chronic conditions beyond the traditional clinic setting,” said Andy Steele, M.D., director of Medical Informatics at Denver Health.

The CCM platform was developed using several integrated Microsoft technologies, including Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft SQL Server 2008. This software, coupled with EMC Corp.’s healthcare process design and technology development service, which was implemented by EMC Consulting as part of its trusted-advisor role on the project, creates a flexible platform for providers of any size to address a number of chronic diseases, each with increasing program complexity.

“We are considering expanding the CCM platform to integrate with other clinical databases in order to identify and reach out to at-risk patients,” said Gregg Veltri, chief information officer at Denver Health.

“Changes in reimbursement policies are driving the need for organizations to quickly develop strategies and deploy programs to reduce re-admission rates for patients with chronic conditions,” said Jack Hersey, general manager for the U.S. Public Sector Health and Human Services at Microsoft. “Solutions such as Denver Health’s Chronic Condition Management platform can have an immediate impact on re-admission rates and are easily replicated and implemented as part of any hospital or clinic’s at-home chronic condition management programs.”

“Denver Health is always looking for new ways to improve patient care, and EMC is pleased to be collaborating with them and with Microsoft on this innovative initiative. These types of efforts can have far-reaching impacts on the healthcare industry, and EMC is constantly striving to help its customers to better use technology to enhance patient care and streamline the healthcare delivery process,” said David Dimond, national healthcare leader, EMC Consulting.

About Denver Health

Denver Health is the Rocky Mountain Region’s Level 1 academic trauma center, and the safety net hospital for the Denver area. The Denver Health system, which integrates acute and emergency care with public and community health, includes the Rocky Mountain Regional Trauma Center, Denver’s 911 emergency medical response system, Denver Health Paramedic Division, eight family health centers, 13 school-based health centers, the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center, NurseLine, Correctional Care, Denver CARES, Denver Public Health, the Denver Health Foundation and the Rocky Mountain Center for Medical Response to Terrorism, Mass Casualties and Epidemics.

About Microsoft in Health

Microsoft is committed to improving health around the world through software innovation. Over the past 13 years, Microsoft has steadily increased its investments in health with a focus on addressing the challenges of health providers, health and social services organizations, payers, consumers and life sciences companies worldwide. Microsoft closely collaborates with a broad ecosystem of partners and delivers its own powerful health solutions, such as Amalga, HealthVault, and a portfolio of identity and access management technologies acquired from Sentillion Inc. in 2010. Together, Microsoft and its industry partners are working to deliver health solutions for the way people aspire to work and live.