Patient Safety Monitor™ Suite: Surveillance Module

First module in new patient safety software suite enables early detection of potential harm to individual patients; Analytics leader also to launch Patient Safety Organization  

SALT LAKE CITY, July 17, 2018Health Catalyst today launched the Patient Safety Monitor™ Suite: Surveillance Module, the industry’s first comprehensive patient safety application to use predictive and text analytics combined with concurrent clinician review of data to monitor, detect, predict and prevent threats to patient safety before harm can occur.

Tens of thousands of patients die every year in US hospitals due to avoidable errors, according to numerous studies. The Journal of Patient Safety reports that up to 5 million patients per year suffer an avoidable, non-lethal harm event.

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Patients on a particular unit at risk for a specific safety event

The new Surveillance Module, built on the Health Catalyst Data Operating System (DOS™), reflects the company’s zealous commitment to improving the safety of America’s hospitals.

Health Catalyst already has deep experience in improving patient safety in health systems across the country. The technology behind the new Patient Safety Monitor Suite takes the company’s existing capabilities to a new level of unmatched industry leadership.

To further support hospitals’ patient safety initiatives, the Health Catalyst Patient Safety Organization (PSO) creates a secure and safe environment where clients can collect and analyze patient safety events to learn and improve, free from fear of litigation. Edward Ewen, MD, FACP, director of clinical data and analytics for Christiana Care Health System, commented on Christiana Care’s adoption of the new solution: “Christiana Care is fully committed to the journey to zero harm, but we realize that we will never get any closer than we are today if we stay rooted in old processes and technology. To reach zero harm will require a fundamental change in how we approach the problem.  We will need to rapidly identify and respond to potential system weakness as they develop and ultimately anticipate harm before it manifests.  We believe the Surveillance Module from Health Catalyst has the potential to take us to this next level, to prevent harm rather than only responding to it.”

Limitations of Current Patient Safety Efforts

“The current approach to patient safety is like doing archeology – digging through ancient safety events to identify the causes of harm, which does nothing to help with the patient in the bed right now,” said Health Catalyst Vice President of Patient Safety Products Stanley Pestotnik, MS, RPh, one of the foremost experts at the intersection of patient safety and harm-reduction technology. “Our patient safety suite, along with our quality-improvement services and the Health Catalyst PSO, turns the current paradigm on its head. Unlike other approaches to using analytics within a PSO to identify and address episodes of patient harm, we monitor triggers in near real-time to reveal whether a patient is currently at risk for a safety event, so clinicians can intervene to prevent it. And we provide constant vigilance; no patient encounter goes unnoticed.”

Today’s standard approach of manual reporting of hospital safety events reportedly finds less than 5 percent of all-cause harm. This limited approach, based on data that is at least 30 days old, also requires extensive time and resources for data extraction, aggregation, and reporting, resulting in limited root-cause analyses.

Attempts to resolve some of these issues and accelerate patient safety initiatives using an electronic health record (EHR) have been stymied by the technological limitations of EHR software and databases, which provide limited surveillance and embedded AI capabilities. Moreover, because EHRs are considered “discoverable” in litigation, the legal protection afforded by the PSO framework does not apply to them.  Because of these limitations, many organizations have adopted patient safety point solutions that focus on specific harms such as falls and hospital-acquired infections. But these, too, miss the mark by failing to facilitate whole-person patient safety and to predict all-cause harm.

Empowering Patient Safety Efforts with Timely, Robust Data

Developed over the last two years at a cost exceeding $50 million, the Health Catalyst Surveillance Module solves the challenges confronting today’s patient safety experts. Unlike the standard post-event reporting process, the Surveillance Module is a trigger-based surveillance system, enabled by the unique industry-first technological capabilities of the DOS™, including predictive analytic models and AI.

The Surveillance Module quickly identifies patterns of harm and proposes strategies to eliminate patient safety risks and hazards for current and future patients. This potent combination of predictive analytics, text analytics and near real-time data from multiple sources enables the Patient Safety Monitor Suite to predict harm events and trigger a response while the patient is still in the hospital.

“Every healthcare organization wants to do the right thing for patient safety, but they currently don’t have the quantitative and AI-enabled real-time data to help them identify a rising patient safety risk,” said Dale Sanders, President of Technology at Health Catalyst. “By the time they know, it’s quite often too late for the patient. And it’s important to note that these safety and harmful events have a demoralizing impact on clinicians, too. The circle of impact goes beyond the patient, to the clinician, which is one reason that physician burnout and suicide rates are as high as they are.”

Sanders added, “I’m grateful that we have the expertise of Stan Pestotnik to address this critical issue in healthcare. Stan is well-known for his patient safety work at Intermountain Healthcare and as the co-founder and former CEO of TheraDoc. Now at Health Catalyst he has a platform in our data operating system to build something that he’s always wanted to build, and that the industry has been waiting for. Likewise, I’m grateful for the advice and support of our strategic advisors in patient safety. We have the best brains in the world on this topic, enabled by a very unique technological capability in our DOS platform.”

Professional Services

In concert with its release of the Surveillance Module, Health Catalyst will offer a breadth of patient safety professional services, including PSO services (e.g., safety data review, vulnerability assessment), “Culture of Safety” assessments and consulting, custom trigger development, outcomes improvement services, and safety collaboratives.

Full Patient Safety Suite Roadmap

Health Catalyst is working with our client partners to evolve the Patient Safety Monitor Suite with important upcoming features including Risk Prediction, Improvement Tracker, and Decision Support (Safety Consultant).  The suite and each of its modules will be continuously enhanced based on emerging safety threats and new regulatory requirements.

In late 2018, the Surveillance Module will leverage additional AI and machine learning capabilities to learn from patterns of harm, significantly improving its ability to propose strategies to eliminate patient safety risks and hazards for current and future patients.

To learn more about the Patient Safety Monitor Suite: Surveillance Module, schedule a demo, or download a datasheet, visit

About Health Catalyst

Health Catalyst is a next-generation data, analytics, and decision-support company, committed to being a catalyst for massive, sustained improvements in healthcare outcomes. We are the leaders in a new era of advanced predictive analytics for population health and value-based care with a suite of machine learning-driven solutions, decades of outcomes improvement expertise, and an unparalleled ability to unleash and integrate data from across the healthcare ecosystem. Our Health Catalyst Data Operating System (DOS™)—a next-generation data warehouse and application development platform powered by data from more than 100 million patients, and encompassing over 1 trillion facts—helps improve quality, add efficiency and lower costs for organizations ranging from the largest US health system to forward-thinking physician practices. Our technology and professional services can help you keep patients engaged and healthy in their homes, communities, and workplaces, and we can help you optimize care delivery to those patients when it becomes necessary. We are grateful to be recognized by Fortune, Gallup, Glassdoor, Modern Healthcare and a host of others as a Best Place to Work in technology and healthcare. Visit, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. 

Media Contact:
Todd Stein
Amendola Communications

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