Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

IBM Helps Texas Medical Group Better Serve Patients

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It’s always nice to see an IBM customer win close to home.

Right here, in the heart of Texas, IBM today announced that Southeast Texas Medical Associates (SETMA) is using IBM business analytics software to gain greater insight into hospital readmissions and data that will help identify causes and design interventions.  This to prevent patients from having to return to the hospital soon after their discharge.

Not being a big fan of hospitals myself, that’s always a good thing.

Watch this video to learn how IBM’s partnership is helping Beaumont, Texas-based healthcare group SETMA streamline their administrative efforts even as they better serve patients through analytic-driven, outcome-based metrics.

SETMA, a primary healthcare group based in Beaumont, Texas (where my cousin and her family live) has seen significant results working with IBM. In just the first six months of the practice, SETMA has been able to cut the number of  patient hospital readmissions by twenty-two percent by helping doctors identify trends. They’ve also been able to assess treatment protocols to support the creation of more comprehensive post-hospital treatment care programs.

Additionally, SETMA physicians have been able to reduce time taken to evaluate patients data prior to treatment from a hours to a second.

According to an October 2010 study titled “Hospital Readmission: Influencing Factors Identified” at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), unplanned hospital readmission within 30 days — occurs in nearly one in five Medicare patients in the US.

These readmissions are not only extremely costly, but it can put the patient at higher risk of increased illness, and in some cases death.

Using Outcome-Based Business Analytics To Improve Healthcare

SETMA is utilizing IBM analytics software to identify the treatment interruptions and causes that lead a patient back into the hospital after discharge.

Physicians are collecting data on specific patient characteristics that did not require re-admission, beyond traditional information to include ethnicity, socioeconomic groups, the follow-up care received, and how much and how quickly they were able to receive that care, against those who were re-admitted for hospital treatment.

Dr. James Holly and the 29 physicians of the SETMA practice have also implemented preventative care programs by analyzing key data of their more than 7,500 patients, including comprehensive background information, demographics, types of treatments, history of prescription care, risk factors and outcomes.

IBM business analytics software enables the doctors to better assess trends in their patients, so they may quickly adjust medications or treatments.

Physicians Evaluating Cardiovascular Risk in One Second vs. an Hour

Prior to implementing its analytics solution, SETMA’s doctors would typically spend upwards of an hour evaluating data on individual patients.

Today, they are evaluating data points of patients with similar conditions across the entire practice, allowing them to evaluate trends and gain valuable insight around more effective ways to manage illness.

SETMA doctors are also calculating cardiovascular risk measures at each and every office visit, something that was typically unheard of before.

What used to take a physician over an hour to sit and calculate just one patient’s score by hand; can now be done in less than a second. With a simple click of the mouse, key data points are instantaneously captured into one report.

For example, a doctor can now point out key risk factors around relative heart age scores, so if the patient is 65 years of age, but is showing a relative heart age of 75 years, it allows the physician to discuss ways in which they can work together to adjust lifestyle choices to regulate those numbers.

In addition, patients are able to view, track and compare their own progress against other patients with similar conditions by providing patients access to data related to their own personal health goals, helping the physician offer a more personalized care environment.

In short, IBM is creating a smarter, more connected healthcare system that delivers better care with fewer mistakes, predicts and prevents diseases, and which empowers people to make better choices.

You can learn more about IBM smarter systems here.

Written by turbotodd

March 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm

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