Health Data Management is announcing recipients of its inaugural Analytics All Stars program, which recognizes organizations and individuals implementing analytics in innovative ways to improve the health of their patients and the financial performance of their organizations.

Analytics All Stars showcases those that are providing pioneering leadership, spurring innovation and driving improvement across their organizations. The recognition program reviewed projects and achievements from calendar year 2013 and is built upon the themes of HDM’s Healthcare Analytics Symposium and Expo, being held July 14-16 in Chicago. (More information about the event is available here)

“The recipients of this year’s awards are turning data into action for the benefit of patients and the bottom line, and are truly leading the healthcare industry’s transformation,” said Greg Gillespie, editor-on-chief of Health Data Management. “Organizations still struggle to use mountains of data in a meaningful way, but this year’s All-Stars have solved that puzzle through smart planning, hard work and the institutional resolve to use analytic insights to improve lives and provide safer, faster and more effective care.”

The individuals and organizations honored this year have been invited to speak at the upcoming HDM Symposium & Expo and will be profiled in-depth online and in the September print edition of Health Data Management.

This year’s recipients are:

CEO Visionary of the Year: Carlos Olivares, CEO at Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic

Led by Olivares, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic invested into a full-scale clinical transformation across its 17 care delivery sites, implementing a patient-centered model of care and setting up data-driven outreach and care planning faculties in the organization. The organziation drove the purchase of managed care analytics that informed the organization of contract and financial performance, opportunities for revenue capture and revenue optimization, as well as cost savings opportunities that would improve outcomes on risk contracts. The organziation used data to target outreach under Medicaid Expansion (AppleCare in Washington state), converting more than 28,000 uninsured and new patients into risk-based performance contracts.

Clinical Visionary of the Year: Charles Macias, M.D., Chief Clinical Systems Integration Officer at Texas Children's Hospital

Dr. Macias helped Texas Children's build a cross-functional workgroup that included physicians, nurses and others knowledgeable in patient safety, quality improvement, finance and IT to review the data contained in the enterprise data warehouse and aggregated in a new subject area data mart. In one project, initial analysis identified several concerns: A higher-than-normal volume of chest X-rays being obtained, poor evidence-based order set utilization, long length of stays, and lower than expected compliance with recommended care for chronic asthma management. Utilizing near real-time visualization platforms to view daily updated dashboards, the team used analytic tools in the EDW to access and analyze population data rather than rely on data reports from IT. Linking the activities to rapid cycle process improvement strategies, the team was able to drive decreases in chest X-ray utilization (from 72 percent of cases down to less than 28 percent), as well as improved evidence based order set utilization, and decreased length of stay for patients with asthma.

CIO Visionary: Brian Jacobs, M.D., Children’s National Health System

Dr. Jacobs serves a dual role as CIO/CMIO at Washington, D.C.-based Children's National Health System. He has undergone the expansion of EHR technology over the past eight years so it now operates across inpatient departments, ambulatory clinics and a regional data exchange encompassing 240 independent physicians. During the past six years, Jacobs also has championed the use of geographic information systems. Jacobs' most recent effort, tackling childhood obesity, blends standard EHR data with GIS software-which displays health data in conjunction with geospatial coordinates--a move he hopes can offer greater insights into obesity and what interventions might work. "For the first time, we are able to characterize the percentage of the population in different disease groups, where they reside, and the impact of gender and race," Jacobs says, describing one of many health maps of the Children's service area. "As you manage population health and try to keep people out of the emergency room, geospatial technologies will come into play."

Project of the Year, Patient Safety: VA Miami Healthcare System

Existing practices of manual audits and spot-checks of fewer than 5 percent of surgical cases were nominal for improvements in outcome and safety.  In June 2013, VA Miami implemented OR-Dashboard (OR-D) in all 10 of its operating rooms to automate case workflow, surgical safety checklists, and integrate patient data with VistA (Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture), which provides an integrated inpatient and outpatient electronic health record for VA patients. Using real-time data for analysis, VA Miami verified that one month after implementation, surgical safety checklist compliance increased dramatically. Sign-in was 89 percent, time out 95 percent, and debrief 82 percent. In November, time out averaged 58.7 seconds, confirming that checklists were being completed actively and completely. First case on-time starts, which setup the success of a daily schedule, were only 37 percent in June 2013. Analysis of delays and remedial action moved first case on-time starts to 82 percent by November.

Project of the Year, Population Health Management: Children’s Health Alliance

Children's Health Alliance, a not-for-profit association of 100-plus independent primary care pediatricians serving five counties in the Portland/Vancouver and Salem metropolitan areas, is using the technology to address the broader scope of PHM. Data encompassing individual patients is being aggregated up to the provider level so providers can be proactive in managing the broader needs of their panels. This information is aggregated up to disease populations to look proactively at the needs of patients with asthma, ADHD, obesity, social factors and other conditions. It's then aggregated up to the practice level so all physician members can gauge how they're progressing relative to their peers. Finally, it is aggregated up to The Alliance level to ensure they are optimally meeting the needs of the entire pediatric population community-wide. A primary goal of any population health management project is to identify and close gaps in care. As such, The Alliance identified a gap in pediatric care that could potentially have a significant impact on children and families not just in the Pacific Northwest, but nationwide. All because The Alliance didn't wait for financial incentives to jumpstart delivering better care for children. 

Project of the Year, Accountable Care: Mercy

St. Louis, Mo.-based Mercy has embedded analytics into the clinical workflow for a one-stop shop.  Epic, Mercy's EHR vendor, and SAP, the business objects vendor, collaborated so their software can work together to allow Mercy to build reports into Epic's hyperspace window so a provider doesn't have to leave the Epic application to retrieve this data. The reports provide critical population health and ACO data that is actionable—for example, a provider is alerted to a gap in care for his high-risk patient and can address that gap.  In development now is the ability to click that data field from the report to hyperlink directly to Epic to order overdue screenings or tests.  Physicians now spend all their time in Epic, and a report is accessible at the point of care. One of the Epic-integrated reports is called the Daily Visit Planner (DVP).  It's an individual patient report available in Mercy's primary care settings across the health system, and is currently rolling out to cardiology and endocrinology. Used by the physicians, nurses and physicians' assistants, the DVP provides a summary view of the patient (again, with data from the EHR, legacy systems, claims and external data). Highlighted in the report are different clinical quality measures, some as defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Servcies for an accountable care organization, and other measures for effective preventive care for high-risk patient populations with chronic diseases such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  Caregivers can see that day's scheduled patients and their status on defined clinical measures, and decide the kind of care that is needed. 

Project of the Year, Revenue Cycle: Houston Methodist

Like many hospitals around the country, Houston Methodist realized the potential to increase reimbursement and decrease denials by better managing front-end processes. The team examined a list of more than 40 check points they could create and manage on the front end.  One area where they have seen an enoromous impact was in their work tackling the Medicare Secondary Payer Questionnaire (MSPQ).  At Houston Methodist, patient access staff are required to ask Medicare patients a series of questions to complete their MSPQ.  An MSPQ  is required to be filled out for Medicare patients in order to bill, otherwise hospitals will not receive any reimbursements.  Houston Methodist leveraged their analytics technology to create daily and weekly reports to track and fix MSPQ final billed errors and get reimbursed in a timely manner. Houston Methodist was also able to link data between their analytics tools to measure the impact of Medicare reimbursement. Houston Methodist's education focus and process change allowed for an overall decrease in MSPQ errors. The error-tracking report enabled faster billing for Medicare due to the completion of the MSPQ to bring in $69.4 million in Medicare reimbursements. 

Originally published by Health Data Management.

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