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1/6/2010
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Humedica Analytics Tools Aim To Curb Complications

Predictive analytics tools use clinical data to identify patients at high risk for medical complications.

New predictive analysis tools from Humedica aim to assist clinicians in identifying patients most at risk for preventable medical complications so that earlier and appropriate interventions can be offered, reducing prolonged hospitalizations, readmissions, and deaths.

Humedica's new MinedStream is a SaaS-based clinical surveillance tool which uses predictive algorithms to identify in near real-time patients most at risk of suffering preventable complications that are often not covered by payers, including Medicare and some private insurers, when the problems occur during a hospitalization or soon after a patient was discharged.

When these complications occur, such as an intensive care unit patient developing a preventable hospital-acquired infection that requires expensive intravenous antibiotics, payers such as Medicare won't necessary reimburse the hospital for the additional treatments, said A.G. Breitenstein, Humedica VP, general manager, and co-founder.

"The hospitals have to gobble up" the unpaid treatment, she said. For the average, mid-sized hospital, these unpaid treatment expenses often climb to about $20 million annually, she said.

MinedStream complements Humedica's MinedShare, which was unveiled last year and is a "retrospective" tool for clinical, financial, and operational benchmarking and comparative analysis, she said.

Among Humedica's first MinedStream users is Christus Health, which also helped develop the product and is also an early adopter of Humedica's MinedShare tools, said Christus CIO George Conklin. Christus operates more than 300 healthcare facilities, including more than 40 not-for-profit hospitals in six U.S states and Mexico.

Of Christus' 7,000 affiliated and employed doctors, so far about 400 are using the Humedica tools to improve patients' quality of care by identifying, for instance, which heart disease patients and patients on blood-thinning medications are most risk of developing complications -- and then aiding clinicians in developing treatment plans that meet Christus and healthcare industry and government benchmarks and guidelines, including those from the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Hospitals, Conklin said.

The intuitive software features drop-down menus that allow clinicians to easily make specific and complex analysis, such as identifying which ICU patients with heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions and characteristics -- including various test results -- are most at risk for readmission, suffering a heart attack, developing bleeding problems, or other issues, said Dr. Paul Bleicher, Humedica chief medical officer.

Christus is using the Humedica tools to analyze a repository of patient data that comes from Christus clinical systems, including its Meditech e-medical records.

Since using MinedShare beginning last April and making some other changes, Christus has improved compliance to federal and state quality guidelines as well as reduced mortality and readmission rates for heart patients, Conklin said.

Humedica's software can help clinicians identify patients at risk of developing problems and assess the urgency of intervention, whether "you have 30 minutes, a day, or a month" to provide treatments that can help avoid the complications, Bleicher said.

The analytics tools "provide a deep level of analysis of data and treatment support," said Conklin.

"There's been dramatic excitement among the doctors" who have used the tools, he said.

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