The Institute of Medicine recently held an End of Life Conference where policy makers and industry thought leaders spoke about End of Life Care in America. This Conference was to serve as a responsorial forum to the IOM's September report on America's end of life care status.
To foster conversation and highlight solutions to America's end of life care gaps, the IOM called for statements. Our CEO submitted a statement that discusses analytics' role and potential in end of life care. It's since been posted to the IOM's site. We've copied it below for your convenience.
People aren’t dying the way they want to in America. It’s causing us heartbreak and costing our country billions.
As the institute of medicine panel suggests, we must focus on patient communication and advance care planning if we’re going to regain the ability to actually live the final days of our lives.
My company, Medalogix, has created a technology that fulfills this recommendation. Our team of data scientists built a predictive model and subsequent risk stratification that informs home health clinicians which of their patients are most likely to pass away within 180 days. Our technology then helps these clinicians act on this information. We’ve incorporated an operational workflow that helps clinicians manage patients from the hospice-appropriate identification through the end of life conversation.
- This technology helps:
Clinicians who are now able to more efficiently search through patient records. Traditionally clinicians are left to manually read through each patient record. Our technology highlights those patients who are statistically most appropriate. From there clinicians can easily conduct further research based on the technology’s insights.
Identify patients who may have potentially been missed by traditional means. Analytics can sometimes find what the human eye may have missed.
Operationalizes and organizes the steps from identification to end of life conversation. Prior to this technology, most home health organizations did not have a streamlined way of managing the palliative care process. Streamlining aids communication and adds efficiency to the process.
Ensure the right patients are having the right conversation and the right time. Our technology has helped increase average days on hospice census by 21 percent. What this means is that if a patient would benefit from and wants hospice care, our technology helps him or her learn of his option sooner so he or she can fulfill his end of life wishes sooner.
An important aspect to note is that our technology’s aim is not to transfer a patient to hospice care. Our technology is designed to equip clinicians with an additional information source—analytics—and an organizational process to have the right conversations with the right patients. This way, patients have the time they need to make the best decision for themselves and their families.
Clinicians and physicians currently use their education, experience and instinct to help guide patients through their end of life options. Our technology adds analytics to the equation. This fourth dimension of understanding increases accuracy and quality.
The IOM’s report states four specific communication barriers. 1.) Natural reluctance to explore death and dying. 2.) Fragmented healthcare system that makes the end of life discussion “someone else’s problem.” 3.) Poor communication in conversations that are held often in hurried or crisis situations. 4.) Inadequate structural supports for advance care planning.
Our technology can address all four barriers.
Let’s incorporate analytics and operational workflows in end of life care practices. It’s better for patients and better for the healthcare system.