Allscripts launches contest to battle heart disease with better CDS

By Mike Miliard
09:50 AM

Aiming to develop best practices for treating cardiovascular disease, Allscripts has launched Million Hearts Initiative Clinical Decision Support Challenge that offers a $50,000 prize.

The intent is to develop a publicly available resource that accelerates delivery of optimal care through clinical decision support functionality.

[See also: Cardiology IT field marked by frustration.]

The Allscripts challenge is based on the Million Hearts initiative, announced last year by the Department of Health & Human Services, which seeks to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. The Allscripts Million Hearts Initiative CDS Challenge was announced at the CMS Care Innovations Summit held in Washington D.C. on January 26.

The goal, say Allscripts officials, is to translate the CDS rules associated with the Million Hearts Initiative into an unambiguous, machine-readable format that can be "read" by any electronic health record. Allscripts will provide materials, including an XML format that participants may use in the development of the solution if desired.

The winning solution will be selected from qualified applicants by a panel of judges in accordance with the terms and conditions that will be made available at the official start of the Challenge.

At a minimum, officials say the winning solution will include a publicly accessible website or service providing the following four features:

  • Unambiguous prose expressions of clinical guidelines that support each of the core components of the Million Hearts initiative: ABCS: aspirin for people at risk, blood pressure control, cholesterol management and smoking cessation.
  • Available download of unambiguous prose expressions of EHR-based CDS interventions aligned with the clinical guidelines described above.
  • Available download of logical, computable (XML) expressions of EHR-based CDS interventions aligned with the clinical guidelines described above.
  • Available download of comprehensive value sets that provide coded values for each of the data elements referenced in the XML-based interventions described above.

The challenge seeks to make important elements of the winning solution available to the community and other EHR developers under an open source license to help support the goals of the Million Hearts initiative, according to Allscripts. Making the solution available under an open source license will encourage widespread adoption of a standardized Million Hearts Initiative CDS protocol which can be maintained and extended by the Sponsor and other industry participants.

[See also: CDS key to health reform.]

Judges will be named once the contest begins and final terms and conditions will be made available on Feb. 27, 2012. The requirements for each entry and the judging criteria will also be made available at that time, and may include:

  • Degree to which the entry unambiguously represents prose expressions of the core components of the Million Hearts initiative and the associated value sets, clinical decision support rules, and performance measures.
  • Usability and extensibility of the XML format used to express the CDS rules and performance measures.
  • Ease of implementation into EHR systems.
  • Degree to which the entry represents an approach that can be extended to other CDS rules and performance measures.

The competition closes June 30, 2012.

Allscripts officials say they hope that, with the widespread adoption of a standardized Million Hearts Initiative CDS protocol, the provision of clinically-relevant, timely guidance to patients will increase. As the proactive preventative messaging inherent with the CDS protocols is delivered, the hope is that patients will be able to better manage their cardiovascular diseases – and that the CDS protocols could lead to better cost management and savings throughout the healthcare system.

“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States," said Doug Gentile, chief medical officer of Allscripts. "The Challenge provides an opportunity to have a marked impact on the delivery of quality outcomes for patients nationwide," said Doug Gentile, Chief Medical Officer of Allscripts. "Allscripts Million Hearts Challenge is very focused, made up of four well-established clinically-recommended components, and designed to help move recommendations into practice in a meaningful way.”