Patient Engagement

Success Stories

Health Catalyst

Advancing Health Equity – Data Driven Strategies Reduce Health Inequities

Health equity means that everyone has an equal opportunity to live the healthiest life possible – this requires removing obstacles to health. The U.S. ranks last on nearly all measures of equity, as indicated by its large, disparities in health outcomes. Illness, disability, and death in the United States are more prevalent and more severe for minority groups. Health inequities persist in Minnesota as well, which motivated Allina Health to take targeted actions to reduce inequities.
Allina Health needed actionable data to identify disparities and to reduce these inequities. This came in the form of REAL (race, ethnicity, and language) data, which Allina Health analysts used to visualize how health outcomes vary by demographic characteristics including race, ethnicity, and language.  To understand the root causes of specific disparities as well as to identify solutions within their sphere of influence as a healthcare delivery system, Allina Health consulted the literature and also consulted patients, employees and community members. Then Allina Health created appropriate interventions based on this information.
As a result, Allina Health created an awareness of the health inequities among its patient populations, as well as effective approaches to breach the barriers that were preventing these patients from getting the care they needed. While much work remains in this long journey to achieve health equity, Allina Health has taken some significant steps forward, including:

Three percent relative improvement in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates for targeted populations, exceeding national CRC screening rates by more than ten percentage points.
REAL data embedded in dashboards and workflow to easily identify and monitor disparities.

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Capturing the Voice of the Patient: Using PROMs Improves Shared Decision Making

Healthcare suffers from an overabundance of metrics, many of which are used to determine payment in several federal healthcare programs. While these metrics are intended to improve the quality of care that patients receive across the country, they provide no insight into how disease and treatment impact patients’ daily lives.
Partners HealthCare recognized that while it had data for patient outcomes such as mortality and morbidity, and an abundance of data for process measures, it did not have data about patient symptoms, function, or quality of life. To improve care, the healthcare system needed to engage patients to understand the impact of treatment on how patient’s felt and functioned following treatment.
Partners implemented a patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) survey program to collect this data. Partners now has several years of experience collecting PROMs and is gaining insight into how to successfully collect and use the information to improve shared decision making with patients and their providers.

Patients have completed nearly 300,000 questionnaires in more than 20 specialties and over 75 clinics at most of Partners’ hospitals.
Clinicians actively use this data to facilitate shared decision-making with their patients.

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Analytics Support the Delivery of Effective Diabetes Self-Management Education

Effectively educating pediatric and adolescent patients and families to self-manage diabetes is a critical part of diabetes care. Leaders at Texas Children’s Hospital, one of the top four children’s hospitals in the country, recognized that diabetes self-management education that incorporates national standards and empowers patients can improve clinical outcomes and quality of life. While diabetes education has always been important to Texas Children’s, the education provided to patients was varied, no organizational standards existed, and tracking the effectiveness was not possible.
To address these challenges, Texas Children’s created an Education Care Process Team (CPT) that focused on: developing a standard education curriculum based on national guidelines, creating consistent education materials, leveraging powerful analytics to identify potential learning gaps and customize patient goals, and investing in the professionals who deliver education.
As a result of these efforts, Texas Children’s achieved the following:

Implementation of a standard diabetes education curriculum.
100 percent of diabetes educators are now CDEs.
70.7 percent of patients with diabetes have had an education visit with a CDE, and the hospital is on track to achieve its goal of 80 percent within the year.

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Developing a Multilevel Approach to Improving Population Health

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, yet heart attacks are largely preventable through healthier lifestyles. Spurred on by this knowledge, New Ulm Medical Center, the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, and the rural community of New Ulm, Minnesota, teamed up to create Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm (HONU) Project. This population-based prevention demonstration project aims to reduce the number of heart attacks and heart disease risk factors among the New Ulm population.
Recognizing the complex web of personal, institutional, and societal factors that influence an individual’s heart-health behaviors, HONU leaders implemented a multilevel strategy spanning 10 years to improve the health of the entire population.
The HONU Project’s multilevel, data-driven approach has resulted in substantial changes in improving population health in New Ulm:

Significant improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol at the population level.

86 percent of residents now have blood pressure within the recommended range.
72 percent have LDL cholesterol within the recommended range.

Improvements are greater than changes seen in the national comparison population.

 

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Quality Improvement in Healthcare: An ACO Palliative Care Case Study

Quality improvement in healthcare is essential for healthcare organizations as they transition to value-based care. Including palliative care in the planning and implementation of value-based care initiatives is more important than ever—especially for accountable care organizations (ACOs). This case study reviews the OSF Healthcare community-wide palliative care program and examines their key results: a) completion of 4300 advance care plans and engagement of more than 980 physician and community facilitators; b) leveraged a healthcare enterprise data warehouse (EDW) in a heterogeneous EHR environment; c) enabled data transparency at all levels through reporting and visualizations.

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