Microsoft and EMC have announced a platform that allows Denver Health to manage patients' chronic conditions and avoid costly re-admissions.
EMC have provided the software and consulting for Denver Health's Chronic Care
Management platform to enable the health system to manage patients' conditions,
such as diabetes, and reduce costs by avoiding re-admissions.
is a hospital system that treats 25 percent of patients in the Denver area. It
includes trauma centers, the 911 emergency response system, school-based health
facilities, a regional trauma center and correctional care.
The CCM (Chronic
Care Management) platform involves the use of text messaging to facilitate
bidirectional communication between doctors and high-risk diabetic patients.
IT consulting services in design and technology development to the project,
which was announced April 20.
believe that using bidirectional communications within a chronic condition
management system may be an effective method to provide care for chronic
conditions beyond the traditional clinic setting," Dr. Andy Steele,
director of medical informatics at Denver Health, said in a statement.
coordinators and patients send text messages back and forth regarding blood-sugar
measurements. Providers send queries to check on blood-sugar measurements,
along with reminders of appointments.
significant amount of the population Denver Health serves is impoverished and
uses a lot of prepaid cell phones, the hospital system chose text messaging as
a way for providers and patients to communicate, according to Shawn Remacle,
director of U.S. health provider strategy for Microsoft Health and Life
see a lot of interest in text messaging, especially in pediatric settings and
also in indigent populations," Remacle told eWEEK.
text messages to send in blood-glucose readings once a day, he said.
that reading is text-messaged back into Dynamic CRM, where it drives a set of
algorithms Denver Health has created to drive protocols for their case
managers," Remacle explained.
manage the flow of text messages and also provide training to patients on how
to use their glucometers correctly.
project draws on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Microsoft Dynamics
CRM and Microsoft SQL Server 2008.
Server, Denver Health built disease registries to keep track of patients
suffering from conditions, such as diabetes and depression. Data from the
registries is converted into Dynamics CRM to manage outpatient data analytics.
send the data to providers, Denver Health uses SharePoint's analytics features
on the back end, Remacle said.
readings can also be imported into patients' EHR (electronic health records).
CCM may be
expanded to work with other clinical databases to further benefit at-risk
patients, according to Gregg Veltri, chief information officer at Denver
reimbursement policies are leading hospital systems, such as Denver Health, to
find ways to reduce re-admission rates, Jack Hersey, Microsoft's general
manager for U.S. public sector health and human services, told eWEEK.
such as Denver Health's Chronic Condition Management platform can have an
immediate impact on re-admission rates and are easily replicated and
implemented as part of any hospital or clinic's at-home chronic condition
management programs," said Hersey, who blogged about the project.
rates rise for a facility, the government will reduce funding starting in the
fiscal year 2013.
Under the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act, which President Obama signed March 23,
2010, the government financially penalizes hospitals that raise readmission
rates. The CCM (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid) will retrieve payments for
unnecessary re-admissions within 30 days of discharge for heart attack,
pneumonia or heart failure.
The University of Miami School of Medicine and the Cleveland
Clinic are using similar CCM platforms. Miami is using SharePoint as a Web
portal and Microsoft Office Communications Server as an instant-messaging tool.
Brian T. Horowitz is a freelance technology and health writer as well as a copy editor. Brian has worked on the tech beat since 1996 and covered health care IT and rugged mobile computing for eWEEK since 2010. He has contributed to more than 20 publications, including Computer Shopper, Fast Company, FOXNews.com, More, NYSE Magazine, Parents, ScientificAmerican.com, USA Weekend and Womansday.com, as well as other consumer and trade publications. Brian holds a B.A. from Hofstra University in New York.