Saving Lives – Electronically

Angie SzumlinskiFeatured, Health

The Advance Alert Monitor is a sophisticated system that analyzes electronic data about hospital patients, identifies those at risk of deteriorating, and issues an alert to a centralized team of specially trained nurses resulted in a lower mortality rate, Kaiser Permanente Researchers found. The evaluation of the Advance Alert Monitor, or AAM, used in 21 Kaiser Permanente Northern California hospitals was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Along with saving lives, the Advance Alert Monitor has demonstrated that it is possible to integrate predictive models into day-to-day operations in our medical centers”, said lead author Gabriel Escobar, MD, a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research and regional director for Kaiser Permanente Northern California hospital operations research.

The predictive model uses algorithms created from machine learning and data from more than 1.5 million patients. It employs severity-of-illness and longitudinal comorbidity scores, vital signs and vital signs trends, neurological status checks and laboratory tests. The system scans hospital electronic health records hourly and if a patient’s score is above threshold, indicating significant risk of decline over the next 12 hours, an alert is issued.

Imagine, how often do medical staff tell family members “there is no way to know” when asked if death is imminent. How amazing would it be if we could identify the risk before the patient is negatively affected? We are probably years away from this type of electronic equipment being available in our setting but definitely a huge step forward! Stay the course, stay strong, stay safe, mask up, and stay tuned!