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BAPTIST HEALTH Uses Real-Time Clinical Surveillance from Thomson Reuters to Lower Costs and Improve Quality in the Pharmacy
Date:12/4/2008

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- BAPTIST HEALTH, a six-hospital system based in Little Rock, Ark., and the state's largest health system, has expanded its use of Clinical Xpert(TM) CareFocus from Thomson Reuters -- a solution that enabled the system's pharmacists to increase necessary clinical interventions and save more than $1 million.

"Data we collected for the 220-bed North Little Rock campus show that CareFocus prompts approximately half of the pharmacy clinical interventions that occur in this facility," said Kevin Robertson, Pharm.D., BCPS, pharmacy clinical coordinator for BAPTIST HEALTH Medical Center-North Little Rock. "Since the deployment of CareFocus, pharmacist efficiency has improved and the number of clinical interventions documented has increased by around 30 percent. The interventions identified by our clinical pharmacists have accounted for an average cost savings of $39,000 per month for the North Little Rock facility, with over $1 million dollars saved since the initial project began at this facility.

"We expect further increases in the number of interventions, cost savings, and improved outcomes based on enhancements made to our current CareFocus profiles and the addition of new ones resulting from our collaboration with the Thomson Reuters clinical consulting team," said Dr. Robertson.

CareFocus, a clinical surveillance solution, enables clinicians to build profiles that identify high-risk patients within the active hospital census based on their medications, laboratory and radiology results, vital signs, diagnoses, active orders, demographics, and other reports. Patients who meet a profile's criteria are segmented into lists that are delivered to a clinician's Palm, Windows Mobile, or BlackBerry(R) smartphone and to a Web portal for anytime access. By identifying these high-risk patients early, hospitals can significantly improve clinical outcomes while reducing mortality and length of stay and avoiding the increased costs associated with treating complications.

"CareFocus has been a tremendous asset to our organization and is a great example of how information technology is improving our delivery of care," said David House, vice president and chief information officer at BAPTIST HEALTH. "This solution places the powerful clinical information we have in our system into a single, easy-to-use format and allows our clinicians to be more responsive to patient needs. The idea was to identify at-risk patients faster, allowing our clinicians to intervene earlier, lower costs and improve outcomes. CareFocus enables us to do that."

BAPTIST HEALTH uses 100 CareFocus profiles across the system, broken out into 273 rounding lists. The pharmacy uses 37 of these profiles and has integrated them with Micromedex Healthcare Solutions drug reference information, another Thomson Reuters' offering, for a complete quality improvement solution.

Due to the initial success in the pharmacy, BAPTIST HEALTH has deployed the remaining profiles across several departments including infection control, case coordination, stroke center, nutrition and food services, nursing, and respiratory care.

"With CareFocus, our pharmacists are more efficient and have a more significant impact on patient care," said Tonya Robertson, Pharm.D., BCPS, pharmacy clinical coordinator for BAPTIST HEALTH Medical Center-Little Rock. "For example, we are using it to improve hospital vaccination rates, identify patients needing renal dose adjustments, and find opportunities to provide more cost-effective medications."

"CareFocus adds an extra safety net to guard our patients against adverse events from medications," adds Becky Layes, Pharm.D., pharmacist coordinator at BAPTIST HEALTH Rehabilitation Institute. "It places the information of our patients -- who might be at increased risk of having a drug reaction -- in front of us immediately. We can then perform a closer review of their lab data and medication profile to look or potential problems or needed adjustments and communicate that to their doctor."

"BAPTIST HEALTH has demonstrated the benefits a hospital pharmacy can realize by integrating our Micromedex Healthcare Solutions drug reference information with our CareFocus clinical surveillance solution," said Thomas Hegelund, executive vice president of the Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters. "With the help of our clinical consulting team they have integrated this solution across their entire system. Their clinicians now have real-time access to patient and drug information to make the best care decisions for their patients."

About Thomson Reuters

The Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters produces insights, information, benchmarks and analysis that enable organizations to manage costs, improve performance, and enhance the quality of healthcare. Thomson Reuters is the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial, legal, tax and accounting, scientific, healthcare, and media markets, powered by the world's most trusted news organization. With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minnesota, Thomson Reuters employs more than 50,000 people in 93 countries.

About BAPTIST HEALTH

BAPTIST HEALTH is Arkansas' most comprehensive health care system. With more than 180 access points -- including major medical centers, family clinics, and therapy and wellness centers -- BAPTIST HEALTH is committed to delivering "All Our Best" in healthcare to the people of Arkansas.


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