Hospitals Say Identifying Adverse Drug Events Top Use For Clinical Surveillance Tech

A new survey has concluded that identifying adverse drug events leads the list of ways clinical surveillance can be helpful for hospital respondents, according to research backed by an industry vendor.

The survey, which was sponsored by clinical surveillance vendor clinical surveillance company VigiLanz, assessed how hospitals are using data analytics, EMRs and clinical surveillance tools to support their operations.  In November 2018, research firm Sage Growth Partners surveyed 100 healthcare executives from across the U.S., with 94% of respondents identifying as members of their organization’s C-suite.

The top five uses clinical surveillance hospital leaders said were most helpful included identifying adverse drug events; moving antimicrobial stewardship initiatives ahead; supporting patient safety alerts; preventing inpatient infections; and helping to prevent readmissions.

Eighty-eight percent of respondents told Sage that clinical surveillance was extremely, very or moderately important to their healthcare organization, while 9 percent said it was slightly important and 3% not important at all.

Of the respondents using the clinical data analytics portion of their EMR, 29% said it worked extremely or very well, while 49% said it worked moderately well and 22% said it worked slightly well or not well at all.

About 79% of those answering the survey questions reported that there is probably or definitely ROI from clinical surveillance solutions, with 19% stating that they were unsure and 2% that there was probably no ROI. Meanwhile, nearly all (92%) said their clinical surveillance technology probably or definitely helped them improve quality, while 8 percent said they were unsure.

After looking at clinical surveillance solutions, the researchers then touched on possible links between these technologies and revenue generation, specifically value-based payment.

They found that 23% of respondents expected at least 31% of their revenue will be tied to value this year, and of those, 6% were projecting that more than half of their revenue would be tied to value.

Of respondents using solely a third-party solution to support clinical surveillance activities, 37% said that more than 31% of their revenue would be tied to value-based contracts this year. Meanwhile, just 15% of respondents using only an EMR for clinical surveillance expected to see over 31% of their revenue tied to value in 2019.

According to Sage, 71% of respondents reported investing in outside technology solutions to help them better understand EMR clinical data, while 29% percent did not.

This follows on research I covered last summer when I wrote up a Health Catalyst survey noting that many healthcare organizations rely primarily on manual methods to track and report safety events.

Respondents told it that data for patient safety initiatives typically came from voluntary reporting, hospital-acquired infection surveys, manual audits and retrospective coding, each of which is typically based on data sets which are at least 30 days old.

Like VigiLanz, Health Catalyst has a reason to underscore the limitations of existing patient safety efforts, as it also sells clinical surveillance technology. Regardless, lacking access to current safety data strikes me as a major problem even without myself having revenue at stake.

About the author

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.