Pharmacy OneSource Blog

Maximizing EHR Investments Through Clinical Surveillance

Posted on 08/14/15

Doctor using clinical surveillance technology

The convergence of health IT advancement with risk-bearing care delivery models has introduced a number of evolving business trends as healthcare organizations respond to both opportunity and economic pressure. Incentives associated with the development of accountable care organizations have spurred a substantial uptick in the acquisition of primary care and specialty practices by health systems, and the need to consolidate resources and costs has made the multi-hospital model increasingly attractive.

While these models offer opportunities to increase scale and synergies, they also create significant challenges for technological integration and a health system’s ability to standardize industry best practices. The merging of many different disparate data streams and electronic health record (EHR) systems can create roadblocks to real-time aggregation of key patient data and to the kind of proactive decision-making needed to move the needle on outcomes performance in today’s quality-driven landscape.

EHRs are great repositories of data and can accomplish some low-level data aggregation, but these infrastructures were never designed to address the level of data analytics needed to support proactive care delivery. Clinicians must have access to a full patient picture that pulls from all of a hospital’s data sources including admissions/discharge/transfer, laboratories, radiology, surgery, pharmacy, vital signs and medical records to make informed decisions and circumvent the potential for adverse events.

It is in this space that advanced clinical surveillance technology can significantly impact a healthcare organization’s ability to fully maximize their EHR investments by supporting patient care initiatives to optimize outcomes. Sentri7®—the electronic surveillance system offered through Pharmacy OneSource—aggregates and analyzes data from multiple EHR sources and data streams, providing real-time, actionable patient information. Built on a rules-based infrastructure that can be customized to the needs of any organization, the web-based system alerts clinicians to potential patient issues through a dynamic dashboard of real-time information, prioritizing alerts and emerging issues.

Currently more than 600 hospitals use Sentri7 to monitor more than 1 million patients at any given moment. The solution extends the value of their EHR data by supporting critical patient care initiatives such as antimicrobial stewardship programs, reduction of healthcare-associated infections and rapid identification and treatment of potentially critical conditions such as sepsis. The end result is higher quality of patient care and lower costs.

Consider the impact achieved at these organizations:

  • Monthly cost avoidance of between $3.2 million and $4.2 million annually tracked within the first two months of deploying Sentri7 at Carteret General Hospital
  • A 750% increase in antimicrobial-related activity and a 35% decrease in antibiotic costs per patient day within three years at Texas Health Arlington Memorial
  • An uptick in the number of patients screened for sensitivities and current therapies from 35% to 92% at St. Barnabas Health System

Current estimates suggest that Sentri7 is saving hospitals $246,862 every hour as a result of increased pharmacy interventions alone. In today’s evolving risk-bearing landscape where quality and performance are directly tied to reimbursement, healthcare organizations must consider how to maximize their EHR investments to improve performance. Having the data is no longer enough—healthcare organizations must now leverage tools to make it actionable.

Enhancing the EMR ebook

Topics: Clinical Surveillance

About the Author

Tim McMenamin has more than 30 years of experience in the Hospital Information Technology (HIT) industry and has been an active member of HIMSS, ASHP, HFMA and other healthcare communities for many years. Leveraging emerging technologies to deliver clinical content to the point-of-care has been an area of special interest and research.