What's the best way to be informed about pandemics and potential viral outbreaks? The answer is an intricate software system that extracts clinical data from existing clinical information systems within the healthcare setting – which also allows for a single view that enables users to search and query data to identify key trends both for a patient or a patient population.
Informatics Corporation of America (Nashville, Tennessee) has developed just such a system – which has been dubbed CareAlign. The technology has the ability to graph emergency room visit discharge data to determine if there is a higher incidence of high fever and flu-like incidences throughout a community.
Since news of the H1N1 spread, the company, which is only five-years-old, has been seeing more and more companies approach it for its product.
"There has been a definite increase in requests for proposals," John Tempesco, VP of Client Services told Healthcare InfoTech Business Report.
CareAlign exemplifies the important role of information technology in helping the U.S. address pandemics and other healthcare challenges occurring after natural disasters such as hurricanes or floods.
With CareAlign in place, the aggregation of clinical data across a community allows for quick identification of trends. One ICA installation is graphing emergency room visit discharge data to determine if there is a higher incidence of high fever and flu-like incidences throughout the community. As a result, they can determine if their community may be seeing an increase in flu-related incidences. This information could be vital to the identification, treatment and control of the spread of diseases such as Swine Flu within the community.
The device not only integrates and aggregates complete data, but also makes it meaningful for clinical decisions at the point of care, truly enabling organizations or communities to proactively drive quality outcomes. This focus on driving clinical value can be applied across multiple areas, from managing a primary care home to bio-surveillance for pandemics. It is also a key component of community analyses and research that balances security with improving community health.
Developed at Vanderbilt Medical Center (also Nashville) ICA's medical record software solution allows care centers to access and edit records across multiple platforms and the ability to layer over any clinician's existing clinical IT system. The solution includes aggregation of clinical data across a community, allowing for quick identification of medical trends.
The significance of this technology is exemplified by one of their installations, which is graphing emergency room visit discharge data to determine if there is a higher incidence of high fever and flu-like incidences throughout the community. As a result, they can determine if their community may be seeing an increase in flu-related incidences.
The company said that this information could be vital to the identification, treatment and control of the spread of diseases such as swine flu within the community.
The application's foundation is to look at the complete patient record, which is said to give clinicians the best healthcare decisions for each patient.
To do that the company has developed disease dashboards on the application for key chronic states, which bolsters the foundational records and give clinicians a rate of comparison.
The company touted that, with the device, caregivers are able to see at a glance if the patient they are currently treating is healthy, in need of preventive care, or if that individual is bringing along "baggage" that involves a long history of illness. That level of knowledge affects approaches to care and allows for more personalized options.
"As the threat of swine flu continues to emerge, it is vital for community health systems to rapidly identify these trends and quickly deploy information, protocols and directives on the utilization of the antiviral prescriptions TamiFlu and Relenza," said CEO Gary Zegiestowsky. "CareAlign is an important ally in meeting these challenges head-on."