Could we just get to Smarter Healthcare NOW, please??
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A coalition of hospitals unifies patient records with an exemplary solution that slashes costs, enables unprecedented collaboration and transforms specialty healthcare for rural Americans.
What was the situation?
After a devastating hurricane left 1.5 million poverty-line patients without healthcare facilities, a regional health sciences center instigated a partnership with 24 rural hospitals to improve access to specialty care across the region. The challenge, however, was significant: Because many of the region’s patients visited multiple medical facilities, medical histories were dispersed and fragmented. To realize the vision of providing remote patient evaluations via telemedicine, the center needed to link its member hospitals online and provide doctors with access to a single, aggregated view of a patient’s record—while keeping the original data in place and without risking security, privacy or confidentiality.
What makes it Smarter?
As more and more healthcare providers seek to improve care and cut costs, creating alliances with other facilities presents an attractive solution as long as doctors can readily share and access dispersed patient medical records. With the help of IBM Business Partner CareFX, this alliance of hospitals deployed an innovative web portal solution that aggregates patients’ medical information such as lab results, prescribed medications and allergy information from across heterogeneous hospital information systems into a single view, without moving any data from its native applications. The solution makes it possible for doctors and specialists to collaborate remotely, identify trends in a patient’s health, make better clinical decisions and see discharge notes from other caregivers so that proper treatments and follow-up care can be provided. The system has profoundly affected costs saving the hospitals millions of dollars associated with duplicated or unnecessary testing, imaging and laboratory investigation.
What were the real business results?
• Reduced duplicate testing by 93 percent at participating hospitals
• Shortened patient wait time to see specialists from weeks or months to 24 to 48 hours
• Saved significant costs associated with shorter hospital visits and reduced admissions
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