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Practice Transformation

Med school will emphasize data-driven care

Kaiser Permanente’s high-tech school of medicine will emphasize team-based care informed by data. The school, planned to open in 2020, will incorporate the latest 3-D and touch-interface simulation technology, but students will also begin hands-on experience the first year in clinics, community health centers and hospitals. “Teaching physicians new and collaborative ways to practice medicine is critical to ensuring high-quality care in the future,” says Edward Ellison, executive sponsor and board member for the school. (Healthcare IT News)

Alarm fatigue, burnout linked to adverse drug events

The burden of electronic health record data entry and its repetitive documentation requirements is contributing to adverse drug events. Researchers estimate about 5.5 million medication-related alerts are inappropriately overridden each year, resulting in about 196,600 adverse drug events nationally and costing between $871 million and $1763 million. The commentary calls for addressing workflow and examining operating involvement in EHR design and using scribes to reduce the harmful effects of EHR burnout. (Medscape Emergency Medicine commentaryJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association)

Evidence & Innovation

The University of Kansas received an $11.4 million boost from the National Institutes of Health to establish a precision medicine center at its Cancer Center location. The money will be used to “develop tailored treatments for all types of diseases” as well as to engage patients and the community. (Becker’s Hospital Review; more about the NIH Precision Medicine Initiative)


Optum, Merck explore “outcomes-based risk-sharing”

Optum (a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group) and drug manufacturer Merck began collaborating in 2017 for creative payment structures that reward innovative treatments with measurable positive patient outcomes. The “Learning Laboratory” offers insight from different perspectives and helps identify models that could work—depending on the disease, the data and the desired outcomes. There’s no magic formula yet, but the collaborators plan to share the models and what may (or may not) work for others.(Health Affairs)

Policy Solutions

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is now making Medicare Part D prescription claims data available on a weekly basis. The switch from monthly to weekly reporting is designed to help health IT developers get information to consumers faster. The change is a result of CMS’s Blue Button 2.0 initiative, a networking community of developers designed to better leverage Medicare claims data to improve outcomes and engage consumers in their own care (CMS Blue Button 2.0 updateBlue Button launch announcement)


Costs go up, use goes down: Healthy Marketplace Index

Health care spending accounts for nearly 18 percent of U.S. economic activity. But prices vary widely across the nation’s metropolitan areas. In this Health Care Cost Institute report, researchers note that, over time, prices increased nearly three times the rate of inflation—and that increase corresponded to a decrease in overall service use. Interactive tools provided with the report allow users to dig into prices in their own metro areas for inpatient, outpatient and professional service categories. (Health Care Cost Institute report)

Video: Get the medications right for patients today.

This 3-minute video from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy illustrates why we must enable comprehensive medication management in our health system—today. Watch and share and become a part of the movement to get the medications right as a GTMRx Institute Signing Member (free).


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