Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Health Catalyst analytics empower health professionals

Steve Rogerson
June 19, 2019

Utah-based Health Catalyst says it is taking healthcare analytics to the next level by bridging the gap between informing professionals about a patient and empowering them with actions they can take in real time to improve patient care, enhance the patient and provider experience, and lower costs.
The company’s closed-loop analytics have been implemented at 17 US health systems, bringing data full circle by surfacing analytic insights to healthcare professionals at the point of decision. It can act as a predictive algorithm that derives better patient risk scores to enable more intelligent alerts in native systems, or an embedded application that helps support a patient-centric clinical problem.
Analytics and insights are designed to spur appropriate helpful actions to resolve a nearly unlimited range of issues, surfaced directly within the workflow of electronic health records (EHRs), billing systems and other third-party applications. By presenting insights within the electronic workflow of healthcare professionals and linking the insights to specific workflow actions, closed-loop analytics can make data more actionable than a standalone dashboard or application.
Streamlining of inefficient tasks within the EHR reduces caregiver burdens such as excessive clicks to perform an action. Primary care physicians spend nearly two hours working on EHRs for every hour of direct patient care, according to a study in the Annals of Family Medicine. Closed-loop analytics help reduce that burden and potentially lower the incidence of physician burnout.
By driving recommendations into the EHR workflow, the analytics are helping improve care for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at Unity Point Health, a network of hospitals, clinics and home care services in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin, said Judy Beswick, the health system's director of clinical innovation and transformation.
"Our old risk prioritisation tool for patients with COPD had reporting and analytics value, but it couldn't generate actionable insights to drive more timely and effective care," said Beswick. "We worked with Health Catalyst to embed their analytics tool into our EHR and now the care team for patients with COPD can directly access the patient record for more in-depth analysis, review and care planning. It really helps them identify efficient and effective interventions for high-risk patients with COPD."
Closed-loop analytics' ability to drive insights into actions within workflow systems extends to virtually any third-party application. The open architecture of the Health Catalyst DOS data operating system enables a growing ecosystem of analytics vendors that can leverage DOS and up to 300 data source systems to improve patient care, the patient experience and the cost of that care.
One example is Queen's Health Systems, a non-profit health care organisation in Hawaii with 70 locations throughout the Pacific. Queen's Health Systems used closed-loop analytics to enable insights from Health Catalyst to appear in the Smart Ribbon from IllumiCare, a non-intrusive, EHR-agnostic ribbon of information that hovers over the EHR screen and provides patient-specific information to support decisions by clinicians.
As a result, data from Health Catalyst's HCC Insights app help the health system's providers identify the appropriate coding for specific levels of care in value-based contracts; the company's community care application provides insights designed to support interventions around the needs of high-risk patients.
"We've invested heavily, for many years, to develop an open, flexible and scalable data platform, recognising that no single vendor can solve all of healthcare's problems," said Health Catalyst CEO Dan Burton. "Enabling the use of data in clinical, financial and operational settings enables healthcare professionals to make better decisions system-wide. Our open data platform, the DOS, makes closed-loop analytics a reality. We anticipate that an ecosystem of clinical, financial and operational professionals within healthcare organisations and other vendor organisations will take advantage of this open platform to build meaningful data-informed capabilities that improve patient care and reduce physician burnout through their innovation."