Microsoft Collaborating On Chronic Condition Management Systems
Customized systems, like the one EMC Consulting and Microsoft developed for Denver Health, help providers to better manage care for patients with chronic health problems.
As hospitals and other providers focus on initiatives to improve the care they offer chronically ill patients, including efforts to prevent hospital admissions and readmissions, some organizations are turning to healthcare IT tools for assistance.
More Healthcare Insights
- How Healthcare Payers are using Customer Communications to Improve Productivity and Effectiveness
- Learn how Kettering Health Network maximized clinician patient time by virtualizing clinician access to data
White PapersMore >>
Microsoft is collaborating with a number of U.S. healthcare organizations to help implement chronic condition management initiatives at those institutions, and now Microsoft is offering guidance to other healthcare providers assembling their own chronic care management systems using the vendor's products.
Denver Health, which in the Rocky Mountain region operates a health plan, level 1 trauma hospital, several health centers, and provides emergency medical services, recently worked with Microsoft and its partner EMC Consulting in rolling out a chronic care management system to better coordinate care for patients with diabetes and other chronic illnesses.
The Denver Health CCM system utilizes several key Microsoft products the healthcare organization had already been using--including Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and SQL Server 2008, supplemented by Microsoft Dynamics CRM software, said Jack Hersey general manager of Microsoft's U.S. public sector health and human services.
While Denver Health is planning to publish in a medical journal results of the first phases of its chronic condition management deployment, already the provider is seeing improvements in the self-management of patients with diabetes, said Hersey.
Denver Health is using the system to identify hospitalized patients who have chronic illnesses and are most at risk for readmission once they've been discharged, and then staying in touch with these patients once they're back home.
That includes Denver Health sending text reminders to diabetic patients about keeping their follow-up care appointments, refilling prescriptions, and electronically sending their daily glucose readings to caregivers. Denver Health case managers track those readings and follow up with patients who having trouble, Hersey said.
"Algorithms allow case managers to see which patients are at risk, giving them opportunity to have these patients come in for care in a outpatient setting," rather than having a troublesome situation worsen, requiring patients to be readmitted to the hospital, he said. Receiving care in a outpatient setting can costs thousands of dollars less than being readmitted as an inpatient with complications.
Depending on the needs of particular patients and healthcare providers, CCM communication between patients and clinicians can take place through phone, text, or via Microsoft's HealthVault personal health record platform, he said.
While Microsoft partner EMC Consulting worked with Denver Health, Microsoft has a number other third-party firms also helping to assemble CCM systems that meet the specific business and care needs for healthcare providers using Microsoft's collaborative healthcare industry products including Amalga and HealthVault.
Among other healthcare providers having rolled out CCM systems using Microsoft technology components are the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and the Cleveland Clinic. CCM systems using Microsoft's products can be set to monitor and support specific groups of patients with particular disease states and conditions.
In the case of Cleveland Clinic, the organization is using Microsoft HealthVault as the collaborative technology facilitating communications through Cleveland Clinic’s MyChart e-health record applications between the clinic's clinicians and patients who have chronic conditions such as hypertension.
Other organizations can create customized systems that meet their own particular chronic condition management initiatives, said Shawn Remacle, director, US health provider strategy, Microsoft Health and Life Sciences.
"We've developed an architecture and architecture guide to build these solutions," he said.
Microsoft’s Connected Health Framework is the architecture guide and design blue print that Microsoft provides to healthcare customers and partners that addresses application integration and offers a set of services that can be “orchestrated” to enable and support a wide range of healthcare business processes, said a Microsoft spokeswoman.
In addition to the framework, Microsoft offers additional guidance for the development of flexible CCM rollouts.
Business intelligence is driving operational efficiencies in healthcare organizations. Next up is using analytics to improve patient care. This report takes a look at the challenges and opportunities facing healthcare providers as they implement BI and analytics tools. Download it now. (Free registration required.)