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These Algorithms Reduce Readmissions

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   September 30, 2014

Using glycemic management software that integrates with its EHR system, a Virginia hospital system has achieved a 79% improvement over the national average for hyperglycemia rates.

Doctors and nurses following the standard of care in hospitals aren't just paying more attention to analytics. These days, the algorithm can be the cornerstone of superior care.

>>>Example of EHR Integration Software

Consider the tricky process of controlling the glycemic levels of patients with diabetes.

Working out the algorithm on paper that will enable a patient to avoid either hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia, although a time-honored practice, is no match for the speed, efficiency, and accuracy of well-crafted algorithms.

At eight-hospital, Virginia-based Sentara Healthcare, this translates into a 79% improvement over the national average for hyperglycemia rates. These hospitals have achieved an overall hypoglycemia rate of 0.83 percent, which hospital officials says is a remarkable blended rate for IV and subcutaneous insulin therapy.

Through improved glycemic management initiatives, Sentara expects to be able to dramatically reduce readmissions and length of stay, as well as to improve patient safety.

The algorithms, provided in software from Glytec, take inputs such as the patient's weight and type of diabetes, and calculate a target glucose range for the patient as specified by the physician, says Miller Trimble, director of IT at Sentara.


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Scott Mace is the former senior technology editor for HealthLeaders Media. He is now the senior editor, custom content at H3.Group.

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