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Top 5 videos from HIMSS17

athenahealth partners with medical societies to roll out cloud network to identify at-risk patients

By leveraging the scale of its network, athenahealth said it is able to identify and activate providers treating patients who may have a high likelihood of being impacted by recent clinical guidance.
By Bill Siwicki
08:01 AM
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athenahealth at-risk patients

athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush

athenahealth announced at HIMSS17 that it will roll out a series of “Network Medicine” health campaigns. Working in collaboration with prominent specialty societies, including the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, the American College of Cardiology, and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, these campaigns will surveil athenahealth’s national cloud network, surface patients who may be at risk of various health threats, and engage their providers to accelerate care.

The vendor said nearly 100 new clinical guidelines are introduced every month, and that many of today’s clinicians struggle to stay up-to-date on best practices, which may lead to missed opportunities, inadvertent outdated treatments or medical errors. By leveraging the scale of its network, athenahealth said it is able to identify and activate providers treating patients who may have a high likelihood of being impacted by recent clinical guidance. As part of this workflow, appropriate care can be delivered more quickly than in traditional scenarios, the vendor added.

“Keeping abreast of the continuous stream of relevant clinical guidelines and alerts is challenging for any provider, regardless of specialty,” said Thomas Portuese, MD, of the Hudson Headwaters Health Network. “The idea of leveraging a national network to identify patients in need of certain care and activating a care team around them will not only make clinicians smarter, but has great potential to save lives.”

According to athenahealth, to date it has seen initial success in alerting providers and patients at risk of public health crises such as the Zika virus, identifying more than 6,000 patients at risk of contracting the virus in Wynwood and Miami Beach, Florida, and Rio Grande Valley, Texas.

“When the Zika virus hit Florida, we were concerned not only about our pregnant patients, but those who could potentially become pregnant,” said Diego Shmuels, MD, director of quality and clinical practice management at Borinquen Health Care Center of Miami Dade. “Together with athenahealth, we were able to activate the CDC’s updated guidelines, identify patients at high risk in our community, and encourage them to come in for screening.”

Building on this initiative, athenahealth will roll out new campaigns in 2017 focused on preventing medication safety risks during pregnancy, managing opioids and chronic conditions, and adjusting cholesterol treatment for cardiovascular patients.

“Medicine grows more complex each day, and it’s incredibly difficult for clinicians to stay current on medical innovation, new research and therapeutic interventions – technology must help connect clinical staff to better information without bogging them down,” said Jonathan Bush, CEO of athenahealth. “We’ve made it our mission to build the healthcare Internet to make this industry work as it should. At athenahealth, we can uniquely look across our national network of nearly 88,000 providers, treating millions of patients across the U.S. and identify scenarios to activate care teams and patients. With Network Medicine and in collaboration with the best health and medical expert organizations across the country, we are able to drive better health and, in some instances, stamp out bad medicine.”

HIMSS17 runs from Feb. 19-23, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center.


This article is part of our ongoing coverage of HIMSS17. Visit Destination HIMSS17 for previews, reporting live from the show floor and after the conference.


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