Needham Ward, MD

CMO, Pulse Heart Institute

Dr. Needham Ward is a cardiologist affiliated with multiple hospitals in the Tacoma, Washington area, including MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital and MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital. He is board certified in Cardiovascular Disease and Internal Medicine. His special interests include cardiac intervention, coronary computed tomography angiography, and heart failure. He received his medical degree from Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine. He completed his internship, residency, and fellowship at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado. Dr. Ward has been in practice for more than 20 years. He is one of 15 doctors at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital and one of 26 at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital who specialize in Cardiovascular Disease.

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How to Apply Machine Learning in Healthcare to Reduce Heart Failure Readmissions

One large healthcare system in the Pacific Northwest is moving machine learning technology from theory to practice. MultiCare Health System is using machine learning to develop a predictive model for reducing heart failure readmissions. Starting with 88 predictive variables applied to data from 69,000 heart failure patient encounters, the machine learning team has been able to quickly develop and refine a predictive model.

The output from the model has guided resource allocation efforts and pre-discharge decision making to significantly improve patient care management activities. And the data has engendered trust among clinicians who rely on it the most for clinical decision making.

This inside look at the application of advanced technology offers lessons for any healthcare system planning to ramp up its machine learning and predictive analytics efforts.

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