States Turn to Big Data, Analytics To Reduce Hospital Readmissions

April 4, 2014 in News

At the State Healthcare IT Connect Summit in Baltimore on Wednesday, state officials from Maryland and Kentucky discussed how they are using analytics and data sharing to help reduce emergency department use and hospital readmissions, Government Technology reports.

Maryland Initiatives Details

During the event, Maryland Chief Innovation Officer Mike Powell noted that Maryland uses data from the state’s health information exchange — called the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients — to gather and share patient admission and readmission data between acute-care hospitals.

He said, “We have a better picture of health than when everyone was in a silo,” adding, “This information collected by hospitals is one of the fundamental things we need to achieve our goals.”

According to Government Technology, the state is beginning to use data from its HIE to identify hot spots of hospital service “super users” and develop innovative ways to treat those individuals.

Kentucky Initiative Details

John Langefeld, CMO of the Kentucky Department of Medicaid, said that the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services is working with the state’s HIE to issue alerts to hospitals and care coordination teams. The state also is developing ways to enhance data-sharing initiatives in the state.

Privacy Concerns

Despite the benefits, Scott Afzal, director of statewide health information exchange at Maryland’s HIE, noted several privacy and security concerns with initiatives aimed at mapping hospital super-users, such as access to sensitive data.

He said that policymakers need to address those issues (Raths, Government Technology, 4/3).

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