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Indiana Hospital System’s Predictive Analytics Program Cut Costs and Infections

Parkview Health, an Indiana-based hospital system, improved its patient outcomes and lowered its operational costs by implementing new, predictive algorithms into its electronic health record (EHR) monitoring system. The Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) from HIMSS offered Parkview Health the framework to upgrade its algorithms with predictive analytics to help lower C. diff infections in patients and save costs.  

C. diff is a stool-loosening infection that requires patients to be treated with contact isolation after exposure, extending hospital stays by one to three weeks. C. diff infections are considered a massive strain on already-stretched clinical teams. In one quarter of 2017, Parkview Health experienced a peak of 43 C. diff infections. 

C. diff diagnoses also created unnecessary costs for the hospital and patients. Parkview Health’s standard workflow procedure for diagnosing C. diff included broad-spectrum GI panels, which cost hundreds of dollars each. Specific C. diff pathway tests cost significantly less, but clinicians didn’t have the decision support needed to use them confidently. 

Parkview quickly discovered they didn’t have sufficient clinical decision support for C. diff built into their EHR. Clinicians couldn’t easily narrow down the likely infections, so they used catch-all GI tract tests. 

With the help of the EMRAM stage 7 validation guidelines from HIMSS, Parkview created a more fine-tuned EHR process with the help of predictive analytics. They designed a workflow that aided clinicians in identifying patients with C. diff within 3 days, choosing the right C. diff for diagnosis and determining if a test is necessary.  

The predictive analytics program guided clinicians through a patient’s digestive history, question by question. The program would then suggest what testing to complete only if the criteria for C. diff infection fit.  

Across the system’s ten centers, Parkview Health saw an 81% decrease in C. diff events throughout a three-year period. The hospital system also saved over $990,000 over the course of two years. Clinicians at Parkview now have a better decision support system for C. diff and standard infection prevention.  

Learn more about this successful EMRAM implementation and its benefits for Parkview Health and patients by downloading the full case study