Georgia Hospitals Eye EHR Add-On Offering Cost, Safety Information

March 15, 2018
Georgia Hospital Health Services (GHHS), the shared services subsidiary of the Georgia Hospital Association, is planning to offer member hospitals access to a tool that gives clinicians additional patient safety and cost information directly in their work flow.

Georgia Hospital Health Services (GHHS), the shared services subsidiary of the Georgia Hospital Association, is planning to offer member hospitals access to a tool that gives clinicians additional patient safety and cost information directly in their work flow.

GHHS is partnering with a vendor called IllumiCare, whose Smart Ribbon product offers a ribbon of information that appears within or momentarily hovers over a hospital’s EHR to display real-time cost, risk and other data. The goal is to empower clinicians to practice more clinically efficient medicine, while also being better stewards of resources.  

GHA has a robust data program for its hospitals. “We provide a lot of value-based purchasing reports on high-cost or outlier cost reports for the hospitals,” said Bill Wylie, senior vice president of business operations at GHHS. “When I saw Smart Ribbon, I thought it could give them something they could actually use in real time to have an impact on what we have been showing them as the impact downstream. This moves a lot of that information and decision making to the front end, where you can make a real impact on it.”

Smart Ribbon uses existing data feeds to gather clinical data and piggybacks on existing authentication and permission infrastructure. It appears only in the upper portion of the screen, and if a provider does not interact with it, it automatically minimizes.

In an example involving patient safety, the Smart Ribbon shows not just how much radiology tests cost, but also the cumulative amount of medical radiation exposure to that patient and the associated cancer risk.

“We focus on medications, lab tests and radiology tests because those are three large areas of variable spend in a hospital stay driven by provider ordering,” explained GT LaBorde, CEO of IllumiCare, “There are often times when physicians will order the same lab test repeatedly or within a time frame when there is no physiological logic to doing it. Every one of those lab tests is not good for the patient. It increases their risk of anemia and is discomforting. So we are trying to influence not only more economically efficient medicine but more clinically efficient medicine as well,” he said. “Those two things go hand in hand.”

In 2016, IllumiCare partnered with the Texas Hospital Association and now 52 Texas hospitals are participating in the initiative. Wylie hopes it can have the same kind of impact in Georgia.

Hospitals don’t want to dictate to their physicians how to practice medicine,” he said. “But they want to inform them about what their decisions mean ultimately to the care of the patient, and the bottom line of the hospital.” His organization has just starting to line up several demonstrations with hospitals. “The feedback so far has been very favorable.”

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