Case Studies: Improving Patient Safety Through Health IT

Electronic Health Records are the electronic backbone for providing evidence-based clinical decision support and best practice protocals to reduce risk of threats to patient safety. Utilizing EHR technology can also expose potential safety problems when they occur, helping hospitals avoid more serious consequences for patients and leading to better patient outcomes. The following resources are peer-reviewed case studies demonstrating how hospitals have leveraged EHR/IT enabled workflows to reduce hospital acquired infections, reduce hospital-readmissions, lower adverse drug events, and improve patient outcomes.

  • HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence winner Lakeland Healthcare used clinical decision support and a standardardizedadmission ordersets to virtually eliminate hospital acquired Venous Thromboembolism and significantly reduce surgically acquired infections since 2013. View the Lakeland Healthcare VTE Case Study.
  • HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence winner Truman Medical Center used a health-IT enabled order set and workflow to dramaticaly decrease pressure ulcer occurances. View the Truman Medical Center Pressure Ulcer Case Study.
  • HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence winner UC Davis Health System leveraged a specified order set triggered by the EHR if a patient showed abnormal vital signs or an increase in lactic acid, As result UC Davis saved the lives of over 200 sepsis patients in a three year time span.owered Sepsis Mortality from 47% to 21% (saving over 200 lives) in 3 years. View the UC Davis Clinical Value Case Study
  • HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence winner Texas Health Resources launched a program enabled by EHR based CDS interventions to prevent venous thromboembolism (VTE), one of the leading causes of preventable hospital deaths. THR saw immediate change in practices, and by 2011, post-operative VTE rates were less than half of pre-program rates. Lowering post-op VTE rates has helped THR to satisfy Surgical Care Improvement Project requirements, and to meet measures set forth by CMS. View THR's Clinical Decision Support case study.
  • HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence winner Mount Sinai Medical Center leveraged Clinical Decision Support functionality  to provide predictive screening alerts relating to many areas including early identification of sepsis cases. The CDS algorithm evaluates eight criteria of sepsis infection. The best practice alert fires if any three of the eight variables are present, alerting clinicians that the patient has been screened positive for a possible sepsis infection. When the BPA fires, it prompts nursing and providers to place orders to initiate early, aggressive evidence based sepsis care.  View Mount Sinai's Sepsis Reduction case study.
  • Hawaii Pacific Health leveraged EHR-enabled clinical decision alerts, electronic dashboards, and health maintenance alerts to significantly reduce occurances of Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) and Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSI). View HPH's Clinical Value case study.
  • Partnership for Patients partner Henepin County Medical Center  implemented a multidisciplinary medication reconciliation process for patients discharged to skilled nursing facilities, with the goal of ensuring that multiple reviews occur in a timely manner. The program virtually eliminated medication errors and reduced readmissions by nearly half, leading to significant cost savings. View the Hennepin County Medication Reconcilliation case study.
  • Partnership for Patients partner Contra Costa Health Services launched a medication reconciliation process at its county-owned hospital based on Institute for Healthcare Improvement concepts for redesigning work to achieve a high degree of reliability. Contra Costa Health Services uses a process in which providers, pharmacy, and nursing staff have standardized, easy-to-understand, and easy-to-execute roles related to medication reconciliation. View the Contra Costa Medication Reconcilliation case study.
  • HIMSS Stories of Success winner Advocate Health Care reduced Venous Thromboembolism using a Clinical Decision Support Alert in the Electronic Medical Record to achieve a 10% decrease in VTE rate while lowering alerts. View Advocates VTE case study.