The expanding Minneapolis-based company LogicStream Health developed a clinical process measurement platform to improve the quality of patient care and lower overall costs to healthcare systems. The LogicStream Intelligence Platform reduces unnecessary variations in patient care and helps healthcare systems quantitate and improve best practices.
“Being able to measure the process of care is a key to clinical quality improvement. That may seem self-evident since if you can’t measure a process, you can’t improve it. However, despite its importance there is a significant gap in this area at most health systems,” explains Dr. Dan Rubin, Chief Medical Officer at LogicStream Health.
But what exactly is process of care and how can it be measured?
Let’s say you need to have a knee replacement surgery to relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis. There are many different pieces of care surrounding that surgery, beginning even prior to the day of operation.
First, you go through pre-operative assessments, dredging through your current medications and dosages, including a list of medications you might have been taking to prepare for surgery. Then comes the actual surgery. Lastly post-operative procedures occur, including prevention of any hospital acquired conditions.
What dictates this process of events and how do care providers know what protocols to follow when administering the care?
It boils down to Electronic Health Records, or EHRs. In a nutshell, EHRs are the updated, 21st century version of the paper patient chart. These digital EHRs are much more fluid and up-to-date than their predecessors. They contain all the patient’s medical records and personal history and allow that information to be shared in a secure, seamless manner with all the patient’s care providers.
But EHRs go beyond this little snapshot of individual medical information. Healthcare systems have built best care practices, or exact protocols detailing the steps to patient care, into the EHR. These best practices have similarities regardless of the healthcare system. But even when the best care practices are in place the problem lies in the human component.
“Obviously humans are fallible when it comes to following process and remembering to take every last step. …What’s challenging for [the healthcare systems] without LogicStream is really to measure how well these things are functioning and whether they are working as intended to drive outcomes,” explains Dr. Rubin.
Once a best practice is standardized and built into the EHR, healthcare system teams usually need to tweak and improve these protocols to obtain the best outcome possible. They also need to measure the level of best practice compliance across care provider teams.
Healthcare systems use the LogicStream Intelligence Platform to pull information from the EHR, analyze that information, and determine if their best practices are- or aren’t- working to drive the expected outcomes. The LogicStream Platform makes any iterations and improvements to these best practices and compliance measurements possible. Without LogicStream, these healthcare systems are basically “flying blind” and have no discreet way to measure their clinical process.
For example, LogicStream was used by one client to standardize care in order to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), a common hospital acquired condition. LogicStream standardized the catheter use process, controlling which patients actually had catheters inserted and standardizing the process of catheter removal. LogicStream reduced the number of catheters in use, decreased the rate of UTIs, and minimized unnecessary costs to the health system.
The eighteen person LogicStream team of informaticists and healthcare experts has clients “in every geographic region of the US,” says Dr. Rubin. This growing company graduated from the TreeHouse Health accelerator in December and transitioned into a new space in the North Loop region of Minneapolis to continue the development process.
It’s a very exciting time for LogicSteam Health and other companies operating in health informatics- the crossroads where “clinical medicine, workflow, data, and the EHR all come together.”
“I think we’re on the verge of a revolution around informatics where the pace at which we can impact and improve care is really starting to increase. …We’ll be able to standardize what happens on a much larger scale and much more effectively. All this is really due to these key disciplines coming together and being brought to bear on the problem of unnecessary variation of care,” emphasizes Dr. Rubin.