Dartmouth Institute-led team developing universal toolkit to predict hospital readmission risk

August 25, 2016

An estimated 95% of hospitals in the United States use electronic medical records (EMR) to manage and report on patient medical history, including diagnoses and treatment. However, despite the widespread adoption of EMRs, the ability to leverage EMR data for patient safety monitoring and predictive analytics hasn't realized its full potential for monitoring patients hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Commonly known as heart attacks, AMI is one of the many conditions hospitals face penalties for if their readmission rates exceed the national average. Now a team of health systems researchers, epidemiologists, biostatisticians and computer scientists have come together to develop a new EMR toolkit to help improve continuity of care, especially for those at highest risk of returning to the hospital.

Led by Jeremiah Brown, PhD, MS, associate professor at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, the research team has begun working on a four-year project to develop a universal toolkit that could be implementable in any EMR system and used to predict the risk of hospital readmission in real-time. The toolkit will focus on extracting complex information about patient health and healthcare factors, including social risk factors such as living status and social support at home. In particular, the team will work with natural language processing experts to turn narrative notes entered by doctors, nurses and social workers into health measures that can also be used to help identify risk and health status.

Supported by a $3.1 million R01 grant from the National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01HL130828, the national collaborative includes Wendy Chapman, PhD, at the University of Utah and Michael Matheny, MD, MS, MPH, at Vanderbilt University.

"The focus of this project is to help hospitals improve continuity of care in directing and allocating resources to patients who face the highest risk of readmission," Brown said.

The new collaborative is moving the fields of medical informatics and predictive analytics into a new era. Each site will each develop a toolkit simultaneously and cross-validate it against different EMR systems.

"This is one of the first projects to develop and validate an informatics toolkit in multiple health systems," Brown said. The final toolkit will also be externally validated in the health system used by the national Veterans Administration, led by Michael Matheny in Nashville, Tenn.

"Overall, this project is designed to provide healthcare professionals with tools to maximize patient safety and health, especially after patients leave the hospital, and to help prevent unnecessary hospital stays in the future," Brown said.

The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice

Related Health Articles from Brightsurf:

The mental health impact of pandemics for front line health care staff
New research shows the impact that pandemics have on the mental health of front-line health care staff.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

New measure of social determinants of health may improve cardiovascular health assessment
The authors of this study developed a single risk score derived from multiple social determinants of health that predicts county-level cardiovascular disease mortality.

BU study: High deductible health plans are widening racial health gaps
The growing Black Lives Matter movement has brought more attention to the myriad structures that reinforce racial inequities, in everything from policing to hiring to maternal mortality.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

E-health resource improves men's health behaviours with or without fitness facilities
Men who regularly used a free web resource made significantly more health changes than men who did not, finds a new study from the University of British Columbia and Intensions Consulting.

Mental health outcomes among health care workers during COVID-19 pandemic in Italy
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and insomnia among health care workers in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic are reported in this observational study.

Mental health of health care workers in china in hospitals with patients with COVID-19
This survey study of almost 1,300 health care workers in China at 34 hospitals equipped with fever clinics or wards for patients with COVID-19 reports on their mental health outcomes, including symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress.

Health records pin broad set of health risks on genetic premutation
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marshfield Clinic have found that there may be a much broader health risk to carriers of the FMR1 premutation, with potentially dozens of clinical conditions that can be ascribed directly to carrying it.

Attitudes about health affect how older adults engage with negative health news
To get older adults to pay attention to important health information, preface it with the good news about their health.

Read More: Health News and Health Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.