In the 1990s, the founders of naviHealth, a Cardinal Health company, had the concept of building data libraries that accurately reflect the patient experience by collecting patients' data as they progress through the care continuum. Furthermore, they realized that by collecting data for patients with similar diagnoses, functional outcomes, and demographic backgrounds and forming cohorts of like patients, they could predict, with a high degree of confidence, the functional outcomes of other patients who matched those criteria.
Since then, naviHealth has built solutions that providers can use to help improve their clinical decision making and better manage patients through transitions of care, based on their predicted outcomes and care needs.
For health systems, the application of this technology helps clinicians predict things like a patient's risk for readmission, length of stay and recovery, likely functional deficits at discharge, and the eventual caregiver burden. This means that clinicians can have informed discussions at the earliest stages with patients, their families, and care coordinators — crafting care plans that best meet the needs of their patient profile. The goal is to help clinicians discharge patients sooner, improve their functional outcomes, and reduce the risk of readmission.
"In many ways, it's an industry changer," said Amy Liebensberger, director of data integrity at naviHealth. She explained that while this technology isn't a substitute for the clinical rationale of providers, it provides them with the information needed to make more well informed care decisions. "By predicting a high risk for readmission, clinicians can direct care appropriately and avoid it. This ability is changing outcomes as well as changing behaviors in the field."
Big data is also transforming how health systems approach post-acute transitions. Tracking post-acute patient outcomes, health systems can objectively measure the performance of skilled nursing facilities and home health providers. This allows them to establish high-performing networks that are ideal for their patients. Numerous health systems have reported improved patient outcomes and satisfaction, as well as lower readmissions (some by as much as 10 percent).