Christiana Care Health System in Northern Delaware has been awarded $10 million from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to design a new care model that will harness pioneer information technology to transcend the gaps that currently exist within health care to provide more coordinated care and greater value for patients. Christiana Care’s proposal — known as the “Bridging the Divides” model — was one of only 107 projects picked for the Innovation Grants from more than 3,000 applicants nationwide.
Christiana Care’s proposal is tailored to use existing hospital and office information systems to trigger alerts specifically for patients who need extra care both during hospitalization and upon discharge to their homes. The alerts will help a team of nurses and other health care professionals respond quickly and effectively to the patients, enabling them to recuperate in their homes and safeguarding them from symptoms that can result in a costly readmission.
“This breakthrough opportunity will truly transform care to significantly improve the value of the care we deliver and most importantly improve the quality of life for the patients we are privileged to care for,” said Robert J. Laskowski, M.D., president and CEO of Christiana Care. “Our Bridging the Divides model enables us to tailor the delivery of health care to the unique needs of our patients, allowing them to remain in the comfort of their homes. CMMI’s decision to recognize our proposal also gives health care systems across the nation the opportunity to learn from this new model of care.”
The proposal will aim at improving care by using predictive analytics to identify which patients are more likely to experience readmissions, develop complications and need a higher level of care. The organization will create an electronic patient portal and personal health record to enable patients to communicate with the care management team. In addition, the proposal will look to compare patient-specific outcomes with evidence-based recommendations in cardiology and use a software-driven care management program designed to improve patient outcomes.
Christiana Care’s proposal is focused on treating Delawareans who suffer from ischemic heart disease, which occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become hardened and narrowed. This buildup results in a lack of oxygen or blood flowing to the heart and can lead to chest pain and heart attacks. Over time, ischemic heart disease can weaken the heart muscle and can contribute to heart failure and arrhythmias.
“The work under this grant can serve as a model for the nation as we work together to deliver high quality affordable health care to Delawareans,” Gov. Jack Markell said. “Christiana Care is building on the considerable investment we have made in Delaware’s healthcare information infrastructure. Technology, information, and innovation are critical to reducing health care costs and improving quality of care. Christiana Care will help us move from a sick care system to a health care system.”
“Both Christiana Care and DHIN are innovators and leaders in health care and this award is another validation of our success in working together,” added Bettina Riveros, Secretary of DHIN and chair of the Delaware Health Care Commission. “We may have won the CMMI grant, but the Delawareans that our dedicated health care professionals treat each day are the true beneficiaries of this award, as it will lead to better care and better outcomes.”
Christiana Care’s partners in the project include the American College of Cardiology, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the Delaware Health Information Network and the University of Delaware. The partners also include several doctors in the community.