June 5, 2009

VU wins award for use of technology to manage health

VU wins award for use of technology to manage health

Vanderbilt University is a 2009 Bio-IT World Best Practices Award winner for its innovative use of ActiveHealth Management's CareEngine System, implemented in 2007 as part of the Vanderbilt health care plan for faculty and staff.

Vanderbilt and ActiveHealth — Vanderbilt's disease management administrator — implemented a new process for communicating clinical alerts, called Care Considerations, to Vanderbilt physicians which resulted in a significant increase in compliance with medical best practices and lower health care costs.

Vanderbilt, obtaining the 'Knowledge Management' award, was one of eight winning entries from a pool of 72 submissions.

The Bio-IT World Best Practices Awards Program recognizes academic and industry organizations for outstanding examples of innovation and collaboration in the deployment of technologies and novel business strategies.

The award is the result of a quality improvement initiative undertaken by Vanderbilt's Office of Benefits Administration, the Vanderbilt Internal Medicine (VIM) practice and ActiveHealth to improve compliance with evidence-based medical best practices.

“The process we developed with ActiveHealth has helped us measurably improve the quality and safety of the care we provide,” stated Jim Jirjis, M.D., M.B.A., medical director of Vanderbilt Primary Care group. “Having our nurses review the Care Considerations before sending them onto the physicians personalizes health management for the patient. ActiveHealth needs participation from us to make the program work to its fullest and we need their analytics to help us separate potential gaps in care that do not actually apply to the patient from those that do.  We can contact the patient and execute where the Care Considerations are appropriate.”

Increased compliance is thought to be due to a combination of two factors. First, Care Considerations are delivered electronically and integrated into the Vanderbilt physicians' daily workflow process. Second, Care Considerations are sent from Vanderbilt nurses who are known and trusted colleagues.

“This award is a testament to Vanderbilt's position as a leader and innovator in medical education, research and patient care,” said Jeffrey Jacques, M.D., senior medical director and senior vice president at ActiveHealth. “The unique process that is in place at Vanderbilt leverages their clinical resources and EMR system and ActiveHealth's proprietary clinical technology to improve the quality of care for Vanderbilt employees.”