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Scripps, Sharp HealthCare to Fully Participate in San Diego HIE

Scripps, Sharp HealthCare to Fully Participate in San Diego HIE | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

The San Diego-based Scripps Health and Sharp Healthcare are beginning full participation in the San Diego Health Connect, a regional health information exchange (HIE) that now facilitates the data exchange of more than 2.7 million San Diego County residents.

In October of 2013, both of these provider organizations originally announced they were participating in San Diego Health Connect, but according to reports, integration and consent issues kept them from fully being on board until this summer.  


In 2013, San Diego Health Connect officially evolved from the San Diego Beacon, the largest of the 17 Beacon Community projects that received a total of $250 million in three-year grants from the Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). Funding for that project ended on Sept. 30. The regional health information exchange was one of the initial projects of that Beacon community.


“The real-time exchange of medical information between San Diego providers will ensure patients receive timely and cost-efficient care,” Mike Murphy, Sharp HealthCare CEO, said in a news release statement. “Lives will undoubtedly be saved as result of sharing critical patient care information in a secure and confidential manner."

Through the program, information is shared with healthcare professionals at the point of care and only by authorized requests and with patient permission. Patients served by Scripps Health and Sharp HealthCare can opt-out at any time. “Using San Diego Health Connect offers real advantages for everyone involved,” said Scripps Health president and CEO Chris Van Gorder. “It not only facilitates better care, in many cases it also eliminates the likelihood of tests and procedures being repeated unnecessarily.”


San Diego Health Connect acts not as a keeper of information, but rather as a conduit, its officials say. Requests from providers are sent to a data hub, where pertinent information is assembled and routed for real-time electronic delivery. More than 200,000 messages are safely exchanged through the system every day among the San Diego hospitals and community clinics currently in the system, the organization says.


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Telehealth Program at Banner Health Reduced Costs, Hospitalizations

Telehealth Program at Banner Health Reduced Costs, Hospitalizations | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

The Phoenix, Az.-based Banner Health has announced successful results from its at-home telehealth pilot program for patients with multiple chronic conditions.


The Intensive Ambulatory Care (IAC) pilot program, done in partnership with the Netherlands-based Royal Philips, focuses on the most complex and highest cost patients —the top five percent of patients who account for 50 percent of healthcare spending. The program first launched in 2013 and aims to improve patient outcomes care team efficiency and prevent IAC patients from entering the acute care environment where costs are significantly higher.


As part of the pilot, Philips and Banner assessed the results of 135 patients to determine the effectiveness of the IAC program in meeting its clinical and financial goals. An analysis of the results of each patient's first six months demonstrated that the program:

  • Reduced costs of care by 27 percent. This cost savings was driven primarily by a reduction in hospitalization rates and days in the hospital as well as a reduction in professional service and outpatient costs.
  • Reduced acute and long term care costs by 32 percent. This cost reduction was primarily due to a significant decrease in hospitalizations.
  • Reduced hospitalizations by 45 percent. Prior to enrollment in the IAC program there were 11.5 hospitalizations per 100 patients per month; after enrollment the acute and long-term hospitalization rate dropped to 6.3 hospitalizations per 100 patients per month.
  • What’s more, the acute short term hospital stays decreased from 7.7 hospitalizations per 100 patients per month to 4.9; long term care home health or other facility stays decreased from 3.9 hospitalizations per 100 patients per month to 1.4; and the average number of days in the hospital per 100 patients per month also trended down from approximately 90 to 66.   


“The results of our at-home telehealth pilot with Philips have been dramatic and are indicative of the exponential success such a program could have by engaging patients in their own care and building a strong support system around them" said Dr. Hargobind Khurana, senior medical director of health management Banner. "As we continue to expand this program we anticipate seeing further proof that telehealth programs can address readmissions rates reduce costs and improve the health and quality of life for patients with multiple chronic diseases."


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