Drew Madden on Why Healthcare Desperately Needs to Meet IT to Advance EMRs

Drew Madden is a healthcare information technology entrepreneur whose experience with healthcare technology revolves around electronic medical records (EMR) as a means to advance patient care and treatment paradigms. Based in Madison, Wisconsin and currently a Managing Partner at Evergreen Healthcare Partners that focuses on providing industry-leading healthcare IT expertise to collaborators across the country, Madden states that he is “passionate about Electronic Medical Records and has spent over a decade collaborating with the best and brightest in the industry to implement, optimize, troubleshoot, and take on the complex challenges that accompany an EMR project.”

Madden obtained his BSE in Industrial Engineering in 2002 at the University of Iowa, and his career began at Cerner Corporation where he spent four years implementing inpatient clinical solutions at two major Chicago hospital systems. Madden then moved on to join Healthia Consulting and spent four years in implementation roles before moving into a Business Development position. He helped implement Epic inpatient applications in several hospital systems across the Midwest. Madden is passionate about building high caliber teams, for curating a unique and appealing company structure as well as forming trusted client partnerships. He has more than a decade of experience implementing, optimizing, managing and advising EMR projects. As such, he possesses a unique ability to fuse his technical EMR background with his experience in project management and consulting operations in order to help healthcare IT leaders build effective Epic implementation teams.

Many industries – healthcare included – have experienced a rapid technology takeover over the last few years. And while healthcare and IT are two realms that traditionally have not been associated with one another, the evolution of the healthcare industry has given rise to something called healthcare technology. This intersection of healthcare and IT has transformed the quality of both care as well as patient experience overall. In particular, healthcare technology has given rise to digitized patient record keeping, which has helped streamline care. An example of this is the EMR.

The impact of EMRs is so widespread that Google has expanded its partnerships with three blue-chip academic medical centers, Stanford Medicine, UC San Francisco and the University of Chicago Medicine. The aim of the collaborations is to utilize bioinformatics in order to investigate how machine learning can be implemented in clinical settings in order to enhance patient outcomes. In other words, Google Brain will use machine learning and take EMR data from each of the three centers in order to fine-tune predictive analytics and tease out patterns within the electronic patient records. This is extremely practical as “Machine learning is mature enough to start accurately predicting medical events – as whether patients will be hospitalized, how long they will stay, and whether their health is deteriorating despite treatment for conditions such as urinary tract infections, pneumonia, or heart failure,” according to Google Brain Team researcher Katherine Chou.

The Google Brain team is particularly keen on using machine learning to predict and prevent healthcare-associated infections, medication errors as well as hospital remissions. By doing so, it will help with how the data appears among the partner hospitals by automating standardization and data exchange and making it more accessible to researchers. As such, the researchers trained deep learning models on more than 200,000 EMRs collected from over 100,000 adult patients that were hospitalized at either of the three collaborating hospitals for at least one day. They were able to predict the risk of death in patients with 95 percent accuracy as well as lower the number of false alerts. This is a significant improvement from before.

What exactly are EMR and how are they advancing the healthcare IT industry?

Electronic medical records are essentially digitized patient records or charts at the physician’s office, and they have been designed to enable health care organizations to provide efficient, precise and timely care. They typically contain information such as a patient’s treatment and medical history as it is gathered by any individual medical practice visited by a patient. In other words, EMRs are a way to centralize patient information in one location that is accessible by all health care staff seeing that patient. Furthermore, ever since EMRs have been implemented physicians have also been able to track patient data over an extended period of time. This is particularly useful for identifying patients that are due for preventive checkups and screenings as well as for monitoring patient progress in terms of vaccinations and/or blood pressure readings.

This is also particularly useful for research purposes as it can help physicians customize treatment paradigms for diseases that have been otherwise difficult and/or unpredictable to cure. EMRs also help improve patient experience as they enable access to relevant information from the patient side as well as offer educational means by which patients can remain informed about their conditions.

Madden’s passion and insight about his field of expertise are particularly evident in a recent statement, “We take it for granted outside of the healthcare environment that we can cut and paste things from one application to another. But best-of-breed applications have ruled hospitals and it was tough to get them to talk to each other.”

For more information on Drew Madden, please visit https://drew-madden.com/, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

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About the Author: BJ Hetherington

BJ is the lead editor of Meical Daily Times. Fluent in French and proficient in Spanish and Arabic, he focuses on diseases and conditions. BJ is a graduate of York University In Toronto. When BJ isn't busy writing his next piece, he can often be found running the streets of the GTA.

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