New collaboration will help physicians be better stewards of healthcare spending and understand the “human” costs of treatment
Seeing prices and calorie counts on a restaurant menu allows consumers to make better choices when eating out. In the same way, physicians make better choices when presented with the financial cost and potential risks of medications, labs and radiology tests when inside the electronic medical record (EMR) making treatment decisions.
Georgia Hospital Health Services (GHHS), the shared services subsidiary of the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) is partnering with IllumiCare, a pioneer in point-of-care healthcare information technology, to offer Georgia hospitals its Smart Ribbon® solution so clinicians can make better choices. The Smart Ribbon is a non-intrusive ribbon of information that appears within or momentarily hovers over a hospital’s EMR to display real-time cost, risk and other data. This empowers clinicians to practice more clinically efficient medicine, while also being better stewards of resources.
Inside the hospital, the Smart Ribbon shows not just how much radiology tests cost, but also the cumulative amount of medical radiation exposure to that patient and the associated cancer risk. When ordering a lab test, physicians see not only the cost, but also the amount of phlebotomy blood loss and the associated anemia risk. For medication ordering, they have powerful insight into the associated risk of c. difficile (if on antibiotics) or a fall (if on sedatives or opioids), and other adverse events, in addition to seeing the wholesale cost to supply the amount of medication in each scheduled order. The Smart Ribbon displays different information based on context and user, so when used in an outpatient setting, providers are given the necessary information for that type of user.
“We are uniquely aware of the challenges of hospitals within our state and nationally in selecting the most ideal and informed course of treatment for their patients. As healthcare leaders, we understand the importance of using innovative and cost-effective technology to improve care. Our partnership with IllumiCare is our latest initiative to arm hospitals with influential tools to increase transparency and awareness for physicians,” said GHA Senior Vice President of Business Operations, Bill Wylie.
The EMR-agnostic Smart Ribbon uses existing data feeds to gather clinical data and piggybacks on existing authentication and permission infrastructure. It was designed for physicians by a physician so it does not disrupt clinical workflow, appearing only in the upper portion of the screen, and if a provider does not interact with it, it automatically minimizes.
In 2016, IllumiCare partnered with the Texas Hospital Association (THA), and Texas hospitals produced incredible results. Initial pilot hospitals provided safer care for patients while they saved $112 to $202 in direct costs per inpatient admission. As a result, there are now 52 Texas hospitals participating in the initiative, with many others in the adoption process. The goal is to bring the same value to Georgia hospitals and their patients.
“It is paramount that hospital care be value-driven and fiscally efficient,” said GT LaBorde, CEO of IllumiCare. “GHA is helping to set a new standard of efficiency for hospital systems not only in Georgia, but across the country, to ensure all decisions made add value to the care of patients. In a short period of use, these hospitals will see measurable, hard dollar reductions in the cost of medications, labs, and radiological procedures.”
With signups underway, GHA and IllumiCare have created an early-adopter incentive for the first five participating Georgia hospitals or healthcare systems.