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Greenway Health helps expand body of best-practice medical knowledge from front lines of care in PCORI-funded project

Building on the success of an initial project with the prestigious Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Greenway Health is the only health information technology (HIT) provider that has been awarded funding for a project to dramatically expand the number of patients and providers involved in clinical studies to advance discoveries in such areas as pediatric obesity and adult osteoporosis.

As with the project’s first phase from 2014-15, funding is provided by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), an independent, non-governmental organization authorized by Congress in 2010 as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Designed to improve the health of entire populations, PCORI funds programs that facilitate large-scale patient engagement in research studies and clinical trials which can help improve the quality and relevance of evidence available to make informed health decisions.

Greenway Health is the first and only HIT provider to be a full partner in a national PCORI-funded population health project. Greenway was chosen in part because of its proven commitment to clinical interoperability, as demonstrated by the company’s ability to leverage Greenway Health’s various technology platforms to engage in large-scale data exchange with a wide variety of systems and participants across the healthcare system, connecting patients, providers and clinical researchers to improve health.

‘Incredible advances’ in health outcomes

“One of the greatest challenges that slows the discovery of evidence-based best practices is to identify and engage with patients who qualify for clinical studies,” said Tee Green, CEO of Greenway Health. “Through the PCORI program and the active involvement of Greenway Health in partnership with our providers and those they serve, together we can dramatically grow clinical researchers’ access to pertinent, de-identified patient data that could lead to incredible advances.”

In Phase I, Greenway Health partnered with Vanderbilt to build the PCORI Data Warehouse, the backbone of the ongoing project that currently contains data from more than 47 million patients nationwide. The warehouse uses a standard data structure including elements such as diagnosis, vitals, procedures, labs and other de-identified data for use by participating research networks.

In addition, Greenway Prime Suite sites recruited in Phase I were able to use Greenway Link, the company’s multi-media patient-messaging solution, to efficiently invite patients to participate in clinical trials and later to communicate with participants. The first phase included a study on factors that support a person’s healthy weight, which can lead to prevention or better control of diseases such as diabetes.

Phase II calls for Greenway Health to increase patient participation almost four-fold — from 1,300 to 3,000 by Oct. 1, 2016 and to 5,000 by Oct. 1, 2017. The number of Greenway Health provider sites connected to the data warehouse is targeted to grow almost 10-fold to 1,000 in 2016, and nearly doubling again to 1,800 in ’17.

“That’s significant growth,” Green noted. “But we’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response to this initiative, as there’s a real thirst in this country to improve population health and gain true value from our healthcare system. The project is a perfect example of Greenway Health’s commitment to connect and leverage data to enable improved care delivery and outcomes nationwide, and we’re firmly committed to its success.”

Expanding access to patient data will enable researchers to more quickly identify and study trends and the comparative effectiveness of different treatments. The more patients who participate, the more that researchers can target their studies by disease state due to the larger sample size.

There is no cost for patients and providers, and they receive compensation for their participation.

PCORnet, MS-CDRN foster ‘patient-powered’ clinical research

Greenway Health participates in the PCORI projects as a member of the Mid-South Clinical Data Research Network (MS-CDRN) centered at Vanderbilt University and one of 11 PCORI networks funded by PPACA. The 11 CDRNs will join 18 “patient-powered” research networks governed by patient and provider groups to form a national patient-centered clinical research network called PCORnet.

Along with Greenway Health, Vanderbilt and the Vanderbilt Healthcare Affiliated Network, MS-CDRN includes other prestigious and forward-looking healthcare academic organizations including Duke University, the University of North Carolina, Medical University of South Carolina, and Health Sciences of South Carolina.

Russell Rothman, MD, MPP, principal investigator of the Mid-South CDRN and assistant vice chancellor for Population Health Research at Vanderbilt, stated that “We are delighted to collaborate with Greenway Health on this ambitious endeavor that will engage clinicians and patients from across the country to perform research that will help us improve patient and population health.”