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DALLAS (Dec. 19, 2013) – Children’s Medical Center has announced it has engaged Dallas-based, non-profit research and development firm PCCI on two new projects aimed at keeping children healthier, using state-of-the-art predictive modeling and networking technologies.
The first project is focused on helping children with chronic asthma, which is the third-leading cause of pediatric hospital readmissions nationally and a significant cause of return visits at Children’s Medical Center. PCCI is building predictive analytic models to help identify children with risk factors indicating a high likelihood for future asthma crises that could lead to a hospital encounter.
“Asthma is the one of the most common chronic diseases among youth, affecting more than 50,000 children in Dallas County alone, and a leading reason for school absenteeism – yet it’s a health problem that can be significantly impacted by improving treatment, resources, and awareness of environmental triggers,” according to Summer Collins, Children’s Medical Center vice president of population health data strategies.
Collins said predictive modeling can be used to assess key information within the electronic medical record (EMR) in real time and identify asthmatic children with higher risk factors, allowing health care and social services providers to proactively address treatments and triggers in a manner responsive to patient and family needs.
“As a physician and parent of a child with asthma, I know first-hand the significant toll asthma can take on children. It’s a privilege, and incredibly exciting, to team with Children’s on real-time predictive modeling approaches to helps kids in North Texas,” said Ruben Amarasingham, MD, PCCI founder, president and chief executive officer.
Dr. Amarasingham said predictive analytics is playing an increasingly important role in health care, with the potential to enhance decision-making, outcomes and efficiency.
Children’s and PCCI also are collaborating to develop a virtual network of information exchange between pediatric health care and social services providers, to provide a central source of information to monitor a child’s health issues. The network will be fully compliant with health information privacy regulations and available to families who choose to opt in to the network.
By electronically linking the various professionals who provide care and social services, each person in an individual child’s support system has the opportunity to coordinate services with other providers, and pursue team-based approaches to supporting the health and well-being of the children we all serve, according to Collins. For example, if a child’s prescription has not been filled, the providers working with that child – school nurses, social workers, service agency staff – can coordinate the approach to care and more likely identify underlying reasons for missed appointments and refills, such as limited access to transportation.
“Our hope is that sharing information across the entire spectrum of health and social services providers will result in greater coordination and more opportunities to create solutions. It’s a case of any door being the right door,” said Collins.
The two PCCI projects are part of Children’s extensive efforts to improve pediatric population health and wellness in the region, contributing its resources, health care brain trust and deep clinical expertise. Working in collaboration with other community providers, advocates, leaders and stakeholders, Children’s population health initiatives emphasize clinical integration among all providers who touch the patient and family, with a holistic and community-based approach that encompasses the full spectrum of environmental, behavioral and socioeconomic issues that impact health.
Founded in 1913, the not-for-profit Children’s Medical Center is the fifth-largest pediatric health care provider in the country, receiving nearly 700,000 patient visits annually with 595 licensed beds at its two full-service campuses in Dallas and Plano, and multiple specialty clinics and 16 primary care MyChildren’s locations. Children’s was the state’s first pediatric hospital to achieve Level 1 Trauma status and is the primary pediatric teaching facility in North Texas, affiliated with UT Southwestern Medical Center. This year, Children’s is celebrating 100 years of making life better for children. For more information, please visit www.childrens.com.
PCCI is a non-profit research and development corporation in Dallas, TX that specializes in real-time predictive and surveillance analytics for healthcare. Our software interprets EMR data in real-time, transforming them into useful intervention warning tools that advise physicians and hospitals on complex clinical decisions in every field of medicine. Our vision is to deploy predictive and surveillance solutions around the world that make healthcare safer, simpler, and less stressful. Visit us at www.pccipieces.org or follow @pccipieces.