Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Analytics Reduce Hospital Readmissions by 22%


Did you know that 1 in 5 Medicare patients in the US has an unplanned hospital readmission within 30 days of being discharged?  One medical group - the Southeast Texas Medical Associates (SETMA) - isn't happy with those statistics, and through work with IBM has cut hospital readmissions for their patients by 22%.

Stories about how analytics can improve healthcare outcomes always stand out for me, because this is a place where the application of technology can literally have life and death implications.  SETMA is using IBM analytics software to aggregate data from across their 7,500 patients to identify the factors that distinguish those patients that need readmission from those that don't.  By using advanced analytic techniques and going beyond the limited traditional metrics tracked, SETMA has been able to create a more comprehensive post-hospital treatment care program that has reduced readmissions by 22% in just the first six months of its use.  (Southeast Texas Medical Associates Building Strong Post Treatment Care Programs with IBM Business Analytics Software)

The analytics capabilities SETMA is also using allow them to evaluate patient data immediately, replacing a cumbersome, timely process:

SETMA doctors are also calculating cardiovascular risk measures at each and every office visit, something that was typically unheard of before.  What used to take a physician over an hour to sit and calculate just one patient's score by hand; can now be done in less than a second. With a simple click of the mouse, key data points are instantaneously captured into one report.  For example, a doctor can now point out key risk factors around relative heart age scores, so if the patient is 65 years of age, but is showing a relative heart age of 75 years, it allows the physician to discuss ways in which they can work together to adjust lifestyle choices to regulate those numbers.
In addition, patients are able to view, track and compare their own progress against other patients with similar conditions by providing patients access to data related to their own personal health goals, helping the physician offer a more personalized care environment.


The full press release includes additional details on how SETMA is using analytics and the payoffs their patients have seen, including additional uses beyond those described above (for example, their diabetic patients are seeing a 15% reduction in visits during the end-of-year holiday season), and I'd urge you to click through for the full story.

Link:  Southeast Texas Medical Associates Building Strong Post Treatment Care Programs with IBM Business Analytics Software