Maine Initiative Uses EHRs To Predict ED Use, Serious Health Issues

St. Joseph Internal Medicine in Maine is one of several health systems using analytics and algorithms to predict when patients will visit emergency departments, the Bangor Daily News reports.

Details of Initiative

St. Joseph has been using a new tool — developed by HealthInfoNet and HBI Solutions — for the past nine months that includes the electronic health records of almost all of the state’s 1.3 million residents. The system uses modeling software to predict which individuals are most likely to:

  • Be admitted to a hospital;
  • Have a stroke or heart attack;
  • Have type 2 diabetes; and
  • Visit an ED.

The tool works by flagging patients who seem likely to have a serious illness, allowing providers to intervene.

Bangor Beacon Health Accountable Care Organization and three additional health care groups have joined the initiative.

Implications

The system’s accuracy has not yet been proven, but it has the potential to prevent serious health problems and save millions of dollars in health care costs, according to the Daily News.

One test of the program showed it correctly identified individuals who would visit an ED within the next six months 74% of the time. Further, use of the tool has been linked with a reduction in the number of patients who were readmitted to St. Joseph’s hospital within 30 days of being discharged (Farwell, Bangor Daily News, 2/2).

Source: iHealthBeat, Monday, February 2, 2015
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