OSF HealthCare, Illinois State Collaborate on SDOH Research

June 18, 2024
Goal is to develop more accurate predictive models for 30-day hospital readmissions and healthcare costs

Illinois-based OSF HealthCare is working with researchers to integrate social drivers of health (SDOH) factors with information from traditional patient records to develop more accurate predictive models for 30-day hospital readmissions and healthcare costs.

A Connected Communities Initiative (CCI) grant of up to $75,000 will support the research. Social drivers of health are non-medical factors that have a big impact on a person’s health and wellness. Those can include a person’s financial constraints, housing, transportation, childcare and access to fresh food, among others.

Launched in March 2023, the CCI program is a formalization of the partnership between lllinois State University and Peoria-headquartered OSF HealthCare. Illinois State and OSF HealthCare are lead hub members of the Illinois Innovation Network. The collaborative work in the Connected Communities Initiative has the potential to generate intellectual property that the two institutions can share and advance the IIN mission of driving inclusive and integrated research, innovation, and economic development across the state.

The agreement also provides a financial foundation for the work with both organizations providing $500,000 each, to contribute a total of $1 million annually for research and development of strategic solutions to improve health care delivery, and patient and provider experience.

The CCI is built upon successful models that OSF Healthcare has developed and maintains with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois-Chicago, and Bradley University.

Led by a team of data science experts and healthcare professionals, the new research involves exploring SDOH data features, enriching already existing predictive models, and fine-tuning them for better accuracy.

“The goal is to provide actionable insights and develop advanced predictive models to transform healthcare decision-making and resource allocation,” said Chris Franciskovich, vice president for advanced analytics at OSF Innovation, in a statement. “Ultimately, this initiative should benefit patients, healthcare providers and insurance providers while contributing to advancements in healthcare technology and practices.”

Illinois State University co-lead researcher Maochao Xu, Ph.D., who directs the master’s program in the Mathematics Department, is bringing his expertise in statistical modeling to help patients and health systems. Graduate students will also contribute to the work, something Xu thinks is important as the role of artificial intelligence and predictive modeling will have growing applications in healthcare.

“We have three faculty members working on this who have great experience and can help students develop expertise in dating mining, statistical analysis and building and optimizing predictive models so they’ll help future generations better take care of patients," Xu said in a statement.

The CCI program is a partnership between OSF HealthCare and Illinois State University. The funding supports research involving clinicians, engineers and social scientists to rapidly develop technologies and devices that could revolutionize medical training and health care delivery.

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