HCN News & Notes

Holyoke Medical Center Receives Award for Innovative Use of Technology

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) will receive the 2017 CIO 100 Award next week for a project that has reduced Emergency Department visits by behavioral-health patients by 25{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5}, while utilizing advanced technology to provide real-time treatment, care navigation, and referral for follow-up.

HMC is one of 100 organizations being recognized for their innovative use of technology to drive business value by CIO, an executive-level tech-media brand providing insight into business-technology leadership. The recipients will be celebrated during a gala awards dinner and ceremony at the CIO 100 Symposium Aug. 14-16 at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.

HMC launched this project in December 2015, using QPID Health Software Technology in collaboration with its electronic medical records system, Meditech, to help identify, screen, assess, track, and appropriately navigate medical patients who presented with a secondary behavioral-health diagnosis in the Emergency Department (ED).

“The specific goal was to reduce 30-day ED revisits for patients with a primary or secondary behavioral-health diagnosis by 25{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} by the end of a 24-month period,” said HMC Chief Operating Officer and Chief Information Officer Carl Cameron. “We achieved the goal within the first 12 months of the program. The defined target was 7,500 ED behavioral-health visits per year; the system allowed us to identify 12,000 ED behavioral-health visits in year one alone.”

The QPID software builds upon HMC’w existing electronic health records system by its ability to locate and synthesize critical patient facts from electronic health records, for timely identification of behavioral-health patients at risk for revolving emergency visits and readmissions, said Cameron.

The project involved training of registered nurses, patient navigators, providers, and peer counselors focused on the development of individualized care plans designed to initiate the best level of treatment, make targeted interventions, and reduce recidivism.

The QPID software enabled providers to track patients in real time, thus enhancing the behavioral-health screening process, quickly collect and assemble actionable information from both structured and unstructured data, and notify providers in real time, to ensure face-to-face contact in the ED and 48-hour follow up to discharged patients.

“We are thrilled with these results. This project has helped us reduce unnecessary admissions, reduce strain on the emergency transport system, and drive system transformation for both our health system and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a whole,” Cameron said.