DeKalb’s Comprehensive Medication Compliance Approach Cuts Readmissions
Partnering with its outpatient pharmacy operator, DeKalb Medical reduced readmissions by approximately 40 percent in a pilot group of patients—while also improving patient satisfaction scores. Within 1-3 hours of a DeKalb patient’s scheduled discharge, a pharmacy technician or pharmacist physically delivers medications to the patient or caregiver. Two days after discharge, pharmacists call DeKalb patients to discuss the initial days of medication therapy.

The Gamification of Wellness: An Interview with Bryce Williams
Blue Cross Blue Shield of California pumped up its employee wellness program by developing a social media fitness challenge that received 40 percent participation within the first year. The change was prompted when the health plan recognized that the results of its existing wellness program were not exactly brag-worthy.

The results of its new approach? A 50 percent decrease in sedentary behavior among Blue Cross Blue Shield of California employees, and a 50 percent decrease in smoking prevalence (just 6 percent of the company’s workers smoke). Plus, only 10 percent of the workers have high blood pressure, down from 25 percent.

Huntington’s Health Information Exchange Engages Physicians
Approximately 500 physicians are currently connected to Huntington Memorial Hospital’s health information exchange (HIE). By the end of 2013, the Pasadena, Calif. hospital intends to have all physicians connected.

Physicians who do not have an electronic health record (EHR) system—or whose system does not accommodate information exchange—are able to access the HIE through a secure web portal. If a physician’s EHR does allow information exchange, Huntington’s HIE pushes the information that the physician requests (for example, imaging reports or discharge summaries) from the hospital or other providers directly into that physician’s EHR.


A Hip Approach to Asthma Management Cuts ED Visits for Teens
Partnering with local high schools, Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) has been able to provide customized asthma management to students with the disease, reducing ED visits and hospitalizations among participating teens by 50 percent over a four-year period. Those positive outcomes are the result of Puff City, a web-based education program for teens with asthma developed by HFHS and its partners. The success of the program is prompting the developers to explore how such online support tools and partnerships with local community organizations can help to engage other hard-to-reach and underserved patient populations in health management.

Publication Date: Thursday, February 28, 2013