Telemedicine reduces ICU mortality rate at Valley Health

Healthcare IT News | March 18, 2019

Valley Health, a not-for-profit health system serving West Virginia, Maryland and part of Virginia, was facing two serious challenges for which it was looking for solutions. First, hospitals are facing critical care staffing shortages. "There is a national problem finding enough intensivists to support an ICU," said Dr. Glen Bouder, director of valley intensivists at Valley Health and medical director of critical care at Winchester Medical Center. "We struggled with that obstacle at the same time that we were growing the ICU program volume," he said. "We asked ourselves, 'How do we grow our program, support our existing physicians and still meet the care needs of our community?'" And second, from an administrative perspective, the provider organization found being able to have risk-adjusted acuity data an appealing measure. "Not many organizations have the bandwidth to have the APACHE – Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation – scoring system, or have a robust acuity-based infrastructure in order to understand what is actually going on clinically in the ICU," Bouder said. "We all say, 'Well, our patients are really sick,' but how do you validate that?"

Spotlight

Welcome to Legacy Health Services. We operate skilled nursing facilities throughout Northern Ohio. We seek to provide our residents with the care and services necessary to meet all of their clinical and non-clinical needs by hiring the best people we can find. We promote long-term employment of our staff and continually reinvest in our facilities. We continuously expand the scope and quality of the services and amenities that we offer. We strive to meet rigorous standards to provide the physical, spiritual, social, emotional and intellectual needs of our residents and patients.


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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

athenahealth Expands Mobile EHR Voice Capabilities for Healthcare Providers

athenahealth, Inc. | June 29, 2022

athenahealth, Inc., a leading provider of network-enabled software and services for medical groups and health systems nationwide, announced the release of athenaOne® Voice Assistant Powered by Nuance®, a mobile-embedded, voice-driven digital companion that streamlines information retrieval and enables hands-free completion of meaningful clinical tasks for healthcare providers using athenahealth’s electronic health records (EHR) solution. Leveraging the power of their voice and iOS-based mobile device, clinicians can spend less time on the computer and more time interacting with patients. Voice Assistant is a natural command-based, virtual assistant developed and built by athenahealth and powered by Nuance's Dragon Medical technology. Voice Assistant is available for use with the award-winning athenaOne mobile app and athenaOne® Dictation Powered by Nuance®, which allows clinicians to dictate patient documentation naturally and accurately. Together, athenahealth’s voice-enabled solutions help clinicians improve documentation accuracy, save time, and provide a better patient experience. According to a recent survey by athenahealth, 92% of physicians surveyed report one or more issues cause them to feel burned out on a regular basis with the leading cause of regular burnout being excessive documentation requirements. However, numerous clinicians using Voice Assistant have experienced significant documentation time savings, thus allowing them to reallocate their time to other high-priority tasks. “I started using Voice Assistant because I’m curious about tech and AI, and I wanted to see if it would help me be more productive. Because I can so easily document anywhere, anytime, I’ve found it to be very useful and convenient, and it helps me make better use of my time. I wouldn’t want to work without it now.” Dr. Terence M. Grogan, DO, FAAFP, Grogan Family Medicine Using simple, intuitive voice commands, clinicians using Voice Assistant can document exams, create draft orders, retrieve clinical information, and review their schedule to accelerate tasks and save valuable time. As an AI-backed technology, Voice Assistant will become even smarter and more efficient with widespread use, and athenahealth will continue to expand the number of available commands and introduce new use cases. “We are delighted to expand our provider mobile app capabilities with Voice Assistant as we continue to transform the provider and patient experience,” said Paul Brient, chief product officer for athenahealth. “Clinicians should be able to experience technology at work just like they do in their everyday lives, and Voice Assistant brings us one step closer to that.” Brient added that with provider burnout and patient expectations increasing simultaneously, athenahealth is focused on accelerating product innovation, using tools like AI to help solve some of healthcare's biggest challenges. “As our data show, administrative requirements are taking too much time and attention away from providers, and it’s the responsibility of all EHR companies to decrease that burden so providers can spend more face time with patients,” he said. About athenahealth, Inc. athenahealth creates innovative healthcare technology that connects clinicians, patients, payers, and partners in differentiated ways. Our electronic health records, revenue cycle management, and patient engagement tools allow anytime, anywhere access, driving better financial outcomes for our customers and enabling our provider customers to deliver better quality care. In everything we do, we’re inspired by our vision to create a thriving ecosystem that delivers accessible, high-quality, and sustainable healthcare for all.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

SpinaFX Medical to Exhibit at Society of Interventional Radiology Annual Scientific Meeting

Spinafx medical inc | June 13, 2022

Minimally invasive image-guided therapy company, SpinaFX Medical Inc. announced it will exhibit at the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) 2022 Annual Scientific Meeting inBoston, MA,June 11-16, at booth 414. Dr. Alexis Kelekis, medical advisor to SpinaFX, will present the results of a research study on which he was the lead author, recently published inThe Spine Journal, on the effectiveness of intradiscal oxygen-ozone treatment compared to microdiscectomy for contained lumbar disc herniation with radiculopathy. This study has been recognized by SIR as one of the 2022Abstracts of the Year. "We are excited to meet with some of the world's leading interventional radiologists to discuss innovations in minimally invasive, image-guided care and share our recent progress and momentum at SpinaFX. We look forward to Dr. Kelekis' presentation and celebrate the study's findings, which have the potential to benefit both patients and providers by addressing a significant gap in the continuum of care for the millions suffering from back pain." Jeff Cambra, SpinaFX CEO "I am thrilled that Dr. Kelekis will share the findings of our skilled research team at SIR's Annual Scientific Meeting," said Dr.Kieran Murphy, SpinaFX Chief Medical Officer and co-author of the recognized study. "The technology used in this randomized control trial holds great promise for patients struggling with contained herniated lumbar disc pain and it is an honor to have this research recognized by such a prestigious and well-respected organization." Dr. Alexis Kelekis willpresentthe results of his study onWednesday, June 15, at10:40 a.m.during Closing Plenary. As an exhibitor during the meeting onJune 11-16, SpinaFX will offer attendees the opportunity to discuss the study results and their implications with Drs. Kelekis and Murphy, learn more about SpinaFX and its goal to help develop minimally invasive, image-guided treatment options, and provide input on developing technology with the potential to redefine the treatment of contained herniated discs. Visit SIR'swebsiteto learn more about the Annual Scientific Meeting. About SpinaFX Headquartered inOntario, Canada, SpinaFX is a treatment solution and technology company bringing innovative, minimally invasive image-guided treatments to patients with back pain due to contained herniated discs.

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HEALTHTECH SECURITY

Health Alliance Improves Outcomes and Reduces Costs Using CareSignal’s Deviceless Remote Patient Monitoring

CareSignal, Health Alliance | June 27, 2022

Health AllianceTM, the health plan of Illinois-based Carle Health, is leading the way for rising-risk populations by launching a remote patient monitoring program powered by CareSignal. This program is part of Hally® health, the member-facing telehealth app Health Alliance uses to give its members access to tools and resources for their well-being. The partnership between Health Alliance and CareSignal aims to reduce readmissions, reduce spending, and improve members’ experience while increasing health literacy and empowering members to better self-manage their chronic conditions. The partnership is serving shared Medicare and Commercial populations and is expanding to Carle Health’s Accountable Care Organization. CareSignal’s scalable remote patient monitoring technology sends evidence-based questions directly via phone call or text message to the member. Questions focus on the member’s health status and encourage adherence to their health management plan through reporting of symptoms and daily habits while monitoring changes in risk status. Indications of worsening symptoms can trigger real-time alerts to allow for intervention, including proactive health coaching and escalation of care. Health Alliance is currently prioritizing Chronic Obstructive Respiratory Disease congestive heart failure, hypertension, asthma, and post-discharge care, and is hoping to add additional populations. Health Alliance is also bolstering its care coordination team with CareSignal’s virtual care navigators enabling them to manage a larger member population without needing additional staff. VCNs are the first to intervene with members before escalating to the Health Alliance care coordination team and/or primary care physician. By handling routine review, education and scheduling tasks when needed, the VCNs enable the Health Alliance care coordination team to work at the top of their license. The program provides increased support for members without increased touch points from providers. “Our team selected CareSignal as the best fit for our Health Alliance remote patient monitoring strategy due to its clinically validated pathways, ability to scale, and ease of use for our members. We believe by adding remote patient monitoring to our population health services, we will improve quality of care and health outcomes, expand access to care management, reduce disparities in health outcomes, enhance the member experience, and reduce hospitalizations, ED visits, and readmission rates.” Margie Zeglen, MBA, FACHE, Vice President of Population Health at Health Alliance and Carle Health “The expansion of this relationship is a result of the clinical and strategic vision that Carle and Health Alliance teammates bring to our partnership,” said Blake Marggraff, CEO of CareSignal, a Lightbeam Company. “Given the ongoing, nationwide staffing challenges that healthcare organizations face, the CareSignal team is particularly proud to be able to support Health Alliance with both the technology and clinical resources required for success. I look forward to serving even more individuals’ clinical needs while simultaneously serving a terrific client-partner.” About Health Alliance Based in Champaign, IL, Health Alliance operates in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, and Washington with additional licenses in Nebraska and Missouri. Health Alliance is part of Carle Health, an integrated system of healthcare services, which includes a five-hospital system as multi-specialty physician groups, as well as Carle Illinois College of Medicine and the Stephens Family Clinical Research Institute. In Illinois, Health Alliance offers employer group plans, individual plans, Medicare plans, State of Illinois Employee plans, and State of Illinois Retiree plans through Total Retiree Advantage Illinois. In Iowa, Health Alliance offers employer group plans and Medicare plans. In Washington, we offer Medicare plans and public individual plans. And in Indiana and Ohio, Health Alliance offers Medicare plans. About CareSignal – a Lightbeam Health Solutions Company CareSignal offers Deviceless Remote Patient Monitoring® which is specifically designed for value-based care by leveraging real-time, self-reported patient data and artificial intelligence to produce long-term patient engagement while identifying clinically actionable moments for proactive care delivery. Together, Lightbeam and CareSignal align best-in-class population health capabilities with proven remote engagement and monitoring solutions serving more than 42 million patient lives across the United States. Lightbeam’s vision is to shine a light on health data using analytics, and to provide the insight and capabilities healthcare clients need to ensure patients receive the right care at the right time. Learn more about solutions specific to your organization and population by visiting our website or trying a self-guided demo.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Virta Health Highlights Lasting, Transformative Health Improvements In 5-Year Diabetes Reversal Study

Virta Health | June 07, 2022

Virta Health, the leader in type 2 diabetes reversal, revealed preliminary five-year results from its landmark clinical trial at the American Diabetes Association 82nd Scientific Sessions. Presenting four unique abstracts, Virta highlighted myriad, lasting health improvements for people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, including blood sugar control, clinically-significant weight loss, reduced inflammation, and improvements in other markers of cardiometabolic health. These transformative health outcomes coincided with medication reduction or elimination for many trial patients, including Jane Ann Dimitt. For over two decades, Jane Ann was prescribed increasing levels of medications as her blood sugar and weight continued to climb. By the time she joined Virta in 2015, her A1c had reached 11.4%; the next step was insulin. Through Virta’s treatment, Jane Ann lowered her blood sugar to 5.5% (below even the prediabetes threshold) and lost over 50 pounds, while drastically reducing her reliance on medications. She also saw improved mobility, decreased inflammation and neuropathy, and now has the energy to play with her grandchildren—all without needing the insulin doctors said was imminent. The outcomes of Jane Ann and Virta’s other trial patients contradict the belief that progression of diabetes—and a lifetime of increasing medications—is inevitable. One-fifth of Virta patients completing five years of treatment saw full remission. One-third of patients achieved A1c below 6.5% without any diabetes medications, or only requiring Metformin. Notably, inflammatory markers, triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol all improved significantly. These outcomes, in conjunction with previous research demonstrating improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors, depression symptoms, sleep, and knee pain, establish the promise of Virta’s approach to impact a wide range of conditions amid America’s metabolic disease epidemic. In the U.S., costs are rising as patient outcomes continue to worsen, including surges in amputations, hyperglycemic events, and diabetes-related deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, getting patients to stick with an intervention remains a significant challenge in diabetes therapy. Rates of medication adherence—that is, whether patients take their medications as prescribed—fall as low as 34% over the first three years for those starting insulin. For the National Diabetes Prevention Program, considered the gold standard in lifestyle interventions, only 13% of patients were retained at one year. In contrast, in Virta’s trial nearly 50% of participants with type 2 diabetes were retained at five years. Of those who continued past year two, 72% remained for an additional three years to year five. For Kim Shepherd, who lost 55 pounds, eliminated 10 different medications, reversed her diabetes, and even saw her GERD (acid reflux) and plantar fasciitis disappear, the reasons to stick with the treatment are clear. “Diabetes runs in my family, and I know that this disease can rob you of your whole life; it can take your eyes, your feet, and your kidneys. I have 4 kids and 9 grandkids to keep up with. I’ve learned to love hiking and biking. Nothing is worth losing all of that and going back to how I was before.” Additional key outcomes demonstrating the success of Virta’s approach at five years include Sustained blood sugar control. Virta patients experienced persistent improvements in blood sugar on average, while requiring significantly fewer medications. Medication deprescription. Half of patients prescribed insulin at the start of the trial no longer needed it at five years. Across all diabetes drugs, prescriptions were reduced by nearly 50%. Weight loss. Average weight among Virta participants decreased by 7.6%, exceeding the 5% benchmark for clinically significant weight loss by more than 50%. Broad improvement in cardiometabolic health. In addition to improvements in triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and markers of inflammation, patients even showed encouraging signs in reversing the progression of chronic kidney disease. “Virta’s patients are helping redefine what long-term success can look like in type 2 diabetes care. The patient outcomes set a new standard for real-world applications of diabetes treatment." Dr. Alan Moses, former Senior Vice President and Global Chief Medical Officer of Novo Nordisk, and Virta advisor Trial participants with prediabetes also saw meaningful improvements, with progression rates far below what has been demonstrated in other studies. Further, Virta patients sustained 6% weight loss over five years, exceeding the clinically-significant benchmark for diabetes prevention and far surpassing the 2% weight loss observed in the NIH Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle intervention. The study is also notable for its longevity. Five-year published results are extremely rare in digital health, where most studies follow populations for no more than a year, and usually significantly less. For many Virta patients, the five-year clinical trial has facilitated a lasting lifestyle change, improving not only traditional markers of health but overall mood, quality of life, and outlook on the future. Says patient Denise Lamb, who has maintained diabetes reversal alongside a nearly 70 pound weight loss, “My journey has been phenomenal. The Virta program has not only helped me achieve healthy blood glucose, but also attain a far better weight, normal blood pressure, and better understanding of my body. Virta’s lifestyle changed my lifestyle!” About Virta Health Virta Health helps people reverse type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions. Current approaches manage disease progression through increased medication use and infrequent doctor visits. Virta reverses type 2 diabetes through innovations in technology, nutrition science, and continuous remote care from physicians and behavioral experts. In clinical studies, 94% of patients reduce or eliminate insulin use, and weight-loss exceeds FDA benchmarks by nearly 150%. Virta works with the largest health plans, employers, and government organizations and puts 100% of its fees at risk based on clinical and financial outcomes.

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Spotlight

Welcome to Legacy Health Services. We operate skilled nursing facilities throughout Northern Ohio. We seek to provide our residents with the care and services necessary to meet all of their clinical and non-clinical needs by hiring the best people we can find. We promote long-term employment of our staff and continually reinvest in our facilities. We continuously expand the scope and quality of the services and amenities that we offer. We strive to meet rigorous standards to provide the physical, spiritual, social, emotional and intellectual needs of our residents and patients.

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