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U of M's Center for Design in Health shares multimillion-dollar grant to reduce ICU complications and costs

October 22, 2012

The University of Minnesota’s Center for Design in Health, Mayo Clinic, Phillips Research North America and the United States Critical Illness and Injury Trials Group have been awarded more than $16 million from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to improve critical care for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in intensive care units (ICU). Data show that 27 percent of such Medicare beneficiaries face preventable treatment errors due to information overload among ICU providers.

The organizations will use cloud-based technology to help prevent medical errors by improving and standardizing clinical decision making, enhancing patient monitoring and better implementing quality metrics.

“The Center for Design in Health at the University of Minnesota looks forward to collaborating on the important problem of designing and implementing more effective electronic patient information and clinical decision support to improve the delivery of critical care medicine,” said center director Kathleen A. Harder, Ph.D.

Medical errors can cause devastating and measurable harm in acute care settings, adding significantly to health care system costs. To comprehensively address this issue and transform the deluge of patient data into actionable insights, the collaborators are creating a cloud-based clinical decision support system built on Mayo Clinic’s Ambient Warning and Response Evaluation application. The project includes a secure, bi-directional communication connection to the cloud where the data is analyzed, interpreted and sent back to the facilities’ care teams to be displayed and mobilized for patient alerts.

“We're grateful that CMMI has recognized the commitment of our physicians, scientists and collaborators to drive patient-centered, high-value care,” says John Noseworthy, M.D., president and CEO of Mayo Clinic. “We remain constant in our unfailing focus on meeting the needs of patients.”

Over a three-year period, the collaborators will train 1,440 existing ICU caregivers in four diverse hospital systems to effectively use new health information technologies to manage ICU patient care. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation estimates that this project will save more than $80 million while creating new health care jobs.

Other participating centers include Duke University, Tufts Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Albert Einstein Medical School, Montefiore Medical Center and Lawrence General Hospital along with hospitals in Minnesota, Massachusetts, New York and Oklahoma.

The Health Care Innovation Awards fund up to $1 billion in grants to applicants who will implement compelling new ideas to deliver better health, improved care and lower costs to people enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program, particularly those with the highest health care needs.

The project described is supported by Funding Opportunity Number CMS-ICI-12-0001 from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.

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