Building jigsaw puzzles is a favorite pastime of many, young and old. Not only are there proven benefits to puzzle building, but seeing an image come together with each piece can be one of the most satisfying exercises, knowing you’ve reached the end as you place that one last piece. Yet, the moments of frustration when pieces are lost or are mixed in other puzzles somehow.Similarly, in today’s healthcare industry, a patient’s care team consists of multiple touch points with various specialists, imaging centers, pharmacies and beyond. Collaboration is key when it comes to continuity of care, but it does not always mean connectivity. With the various systems in place, sources from each facility often do not communicate with each other. One patient may be manageable, a handful may be as well, but for hospitals caring for thousands of patients with multiple levels of data details, there exists a complicated puzzle the healthcare industry has long been trying to solve.
At Hart, not only do we love to build puzzles, but even more so, we love to solve them. When Children’s Hospital of Orange County shared their challenging data puzzle, we were motivated to ensure improved care for their pediatric population. Hart and CHOC’s mission is to place patients’ well-being at the center of everything we do. We couldn’t wait to get started.
Healthcare data is at the core of our mission, our day-to-day currency that feeds the healthcare engine. We ensure that hospitals that maintain a close partnership with more than a dozen prominent clinical institutions within a community work together to improve access to care and to make a difference in their patients’ outcomes.
In the words of CHOC, “This problem derives from the use of different EMR systems, forcing patient records to be spread among incompatible systems, and preventing valuable information from being easily transferred and accessible across the healthcare system.”
As an extension of CHOC, we went to work seamlessly linking the differing EMRs and clinical systems, by way of our bidirectional API platform. Occurring in near real time, the most current set of data is collected, merged and redistributed into CHOC’s population health tool (Cerner’s HealtheIntent), filling in the missing pieces of information that can potentially play a determining role in a diagnosis.
With every piece of data weighing significantly for each patient, it is increasingly gratifying to be part of patients’ paths to recovery. After equipping the immunologists of CHOC with a holistic data plan for 150,000 patients, the outcomes started to speak for themselves. Not only was there a financial impact on managing the pediatric population by saving the hospital over $1,000,000, over the course of 8 months, the data collection and reallocation helped increase the distribution of Asthma Action Plans by 30%, resulting in 18% fewer unexpected visits to the Emergency Room. That’s 27,000 children that can be busy playing with puzzles instead of being rushed to a hospital yet again.Collectively, our teams acknowledge the importance of fluid data operations and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with CHOC and completing the puzzle for each patient, big and small. We want to make physicians feel confident so communities can thrive with healthy children running around in that California sun.