Closed-Loop EMR System Result in Decreased Readmission Rates

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TL;DR
Closed-Loop technology systems are important to EMR success in that it identifies where a system is failing, and then notifies or adjusts the process.

Potential Savings in Closed Loop Systems

According to a recent article on the Health Management Technology website, hospital readmissions can add $25 billion annually to US healthcare. It’s important to enforce measures that will aid in reducing this rate. An information management platform that could integrate the network of providers and services involved in this effort is needed. The article suggested a closed-loop model for readmission reduction programs.

A closed-loop system typically monitors the output of a system and adjusts it according to what the preferred output is. It identifies where a system is failing, recognizes when something is out of place, and adjusts the process as needed. When it comes to readmission reduction programs, the system would monitor a patient’s status after a hospital or emergency room stay and ensure that they’re receiving the follow-up care that they need. The desired output is a healthier status following an inpatient visit.

Using this model requires information technology that can incorporate data about a system, gauge the performance of that system, intervene accordingly, and optimize the process. A closed-loop system:

  • Aggregates data throughout healthcare. This includes clinical, financial, and patient information. It’s important to have a database that can continue to grow as more data is brought in.
  • Measures the progress of the system. There’s a need for an analytics system that can analyze the information in the database and evaluate the best move for individuals and populations.
  • Continuously assesses performance. The system should have the capability to incrementally measure data in time for intervention to occur if necessary.
  • Intervenes when needed. When care is required, providers need to be informed. An analytics system that can coordinate with EHRs or notify the corresponding physician could be necessary.

The article also mentions an example program: the CurrentCare health information exchange run by Rhode Island Quality Institute (RIQI). They implemented a system called Hospital Alerts, which notifies primary care physicians and other providers when a patient is admitted or discharged. This is intended to help improve the follow-up care for patients after their stay. Initial results show a 15.7% reduction in overall admission rates, suggesting the system is successful. Adopting such a system throughout the state and, eventually, nationwide could result in a significant decrease in readmission rates and millions of dollars in potential savings.

Author: Apoorva Anupindi