Ky. Hospital Assn. gets grant for emergency-room software that tracks patient histories from other sites; could thwart ‘ER hopping’

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

The Kentucky Hospital Association has been awarded a $250,000 grant to equip Kentucky’s emergency departments with software designed to help physicians have access to patient information from multiple sources in real time.

The grant for the software, called EDie, came from Anthem Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Anthem Inc., a major health insurer.

“Information is a powerful tool in medicine, especially emergency medicine when life and death decisions must be made quickly,” Harold C. Warman, president of Highlands Regional Medical Center in Prestonsburg, the first hospital in Kentucky to go live with the software, said in a news release. “EDie instantly consolidates information from multiple sources that would otherwise take hours to obtain, and lets emergency physicians make faster, more informed clinical decisions.”

EDie works by collecting data from thousands of hospitals, urgent cares, clinics and health plans and then packages the data and delivers it to emergency room physicians in real time.

“In one concise report, the ED team can see patient history, visit summaries, medical providers, security events, and even care recommendations like preferred language and drug allergies,” says the release.

The grant funds, combined with discounts from Collective Medical Technologies, a Salt Lake City firm that developed the software, will cover one year’s costs for nearly every hospital in the state, said Ginger Dreyer, director of communications for the hospital association.

“There are also separate grants to pay the cost for small, rural hospitals to have access to the EDie solution,” Dreyer said.

The release says 10 Kentucky hospitals have adopted the technology and 28 others are in the process of installing it.

Dreyer said six of the 10 that have adopted the program are actively using it, In addition to Highlands Regional, they are Breckinridge Memorial Hospital in Hardinsburg; Hardin Memorial Health in Elizabethtown; Wayne County Hospital in Monticello; St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead; andTwin Lakes Regional Medical Center in Leitchfield.

The release notes that this software will help hospitals identify and support high-risk patients across care settings, with the goal of reducing avoidable readmissions and further enabling statewide efforts to address the opioid epidemic,

“One particularly powerful application of this technology is in fighting Kentucky’s opioid epidemic,” KHA President Nancy Galvagni, said in the release. “Emergency-room hopping is a serious obstacle in helping people suffering from addiction and this software can tell a treating physician if the patient has a history of ER visits for pain treatment. EDie can be the difference between enabling addiction and treating it.”

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