University of Arizona researchers and Phoenix-based non-profit health system Banner Health has formed a partnership in an effort to create EHR alerts that can capable of predicting risk preventing sudden cardiac death in elderly patients. In particular, the system is aimed at assisting care providers to monitor elderly patients admitted to acute-care settings who are exposed to several medications that may affect heartbeat. For this joint effort to develop EHR alerts that monitor heart health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is backing the project through a 2-year USD 766,000 grant.
According to a report, more than 150 common medications administered to elderly patients can interfere with the heart’s ability to recharge between beats that can cause health complications or increase the patients’ time-span of stay in acute care hospitals. To overcome this challenge, researchers at the University of Arizona will work together with clinicians and researchers at 28 Banner Health facilities across Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada, and Wyoming. For this project, participants will embrace patient EHRs and prescribing systems to recognize patients’ adverse health effects vulnerability resulting from multiple medications. The health IT solution conveys EHR alerts to clinicians to notify providers of the risk and suggests preventing life-threatening heart rhythm disorders and sudden death.
University of Arizona researchers will also utilize the grant to support educational programs focused on training care providers regarding effective use and respond to EHR alerts. Researchers will use existing EHR data within Banner Health’s Cerner system to produce insights into patient heart health. Moreover, the project will assess data from Banner Health’s electrocardiogram equipment. When looking around study reports, a study in 2017 found that EHR alerts related to screening and treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can aid to streamline patient diagnoses.