Update: athenahealth recasts Zika infection threat from 5,000 Floridians down to fewer than 2,000

The health IT company is tracking the virus with its network of 80,000 providers to determine trends and spot potentially at-risk patients who should seek testing.
By Jessica Davis
10:59 AM
athenahealth Zika infection

After originally releasing projections that as many as 5,000 people in Florida are at risk of Zika infection, athenahealth retracted the number and said it is actually closer to 1,800.

"The original numbers we shared were incorrect,” a spokesperson said. She explained that the company has since analyzed the data more deeply. “athenahealth has confirmed the [more recent] numbers."

Specifically, the new estimate is that 1,800 patients treated by 94 providers at 24 athenahealth clients are at risk of Zika infection — with Borinquen Health Care Center of Miami Dade encompassing nearly 1,400 of those potentially at risk of infection. 

[Also: CDC says widespread Zika infections are unlikely]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a travel warning about this one-square-mile square area of Miami, where the 14 cases likely contracted locally have been discovered. athenahealth said it will will contact these providers in an effort to engage patients to seek testing, per CDC recommendations. 

"We're focused on bringing the real-time intelligence of the athenahealth network to providers and patients in Florida who are potentially at risk for contracting Zika," Brian Anderson, MD senior manager of clinical effectiveness at athenahealth said in a statement. "This is what we like to call 'network medicine': activating the latest, most evidence-based clinical guidelines to deliver them rapidly to our clients for activation – no software update required."

"Working with athenahealth, we've been able to activate the CDC's updated guidelines immediately to educate and protect our patients, and the community we serve," Diego Shmuels, MD, director of quality and clinical practice management at Borinquen Health Care Center said in a statement.

athenahealth is tracking the Zika virus impact with its network of 80,000 providers and intends to publish data about initial Zika patterns discovered on Thursday.

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
Email the writer: jessica.davis@himssmedia.com

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