Guest Commentator: Rebecca Farrington, Chief Revenue Officer, Healthcare Administrative Partners, @hapusarcm 

In what ways have health care technology and data analytics played a role in shaping better patient care, especially when it comes to increased care coordination and integration?

When radiologists are reading x-rays or other images such as CAT scans and MRI’s, they often identify potential abnormalities in addition to their primary focus.  Sometimes their findings can be clinically significant and communicating to their patients the need for further care or follow-up can be a lifesaving action.  Alarmingly, the patient’s primary care physician (PCP) often does not get all of the results regarding their patients, especially when they are not the ordering physician.

This leaves a gaping hole in the health care system regarding incidental findings that is primarily an issue of how to track and communicate with patients and their primary care physicians. Solving this multi-faceted problem requires an integrated clinical analytics system and business process that can:

  • determine which findings should be noted and communicated;
  • communicate findings to patients and the appropriate physicians;
  • track whether the patient returns as recommended and, if not, continue the communication process with reminders;
  • and track the results of those follow-up exams for comparison and ultimate action on the original finding.

Using technology known as Natural Language Processing (NLP), Healthcare Administrative Partners (HAP) has developed a custom clinical analytics system that hits all of these targets. We initially focused on identifying incidental lung nodule findings and executing communications with recommended follow-up steps to both the patient and his or her primary care physician. As a result, compliance with follow-up exams has reached an average of 60%, compared with the typical 29% follow-up rate. And in over 20% of these patients, a potentially worsening situation was detected, enabling care intervention that otherwise may not have occurred.

We expanded our system to be able to identify and monitor patients with temporary implanted devices called inferior vena cava (IVC) filters. It is important that these devices be removed after about 60 days yet many patients did not return for removal, which often put them at a greater health risk than their original condition. The use of our analytics and notification process had a measurable impact, resulting in a 44% increase in average follow-up rates.

The physician community welcomed the opportunity to be integrated into their patients’ care using these processes. Most importantly, an at-risk patient population is now receiving coordinated, potentially lifesaving care that would not have been possible without the use of modern data analytics tools.


Healthcare Administrative Partners is a member of the Chamber’s Health Care Action Team (HCAT), a unique, cross-functional group of 135+ leaders working to leverage the region’s health care and technology assets and is transforming our 11-county community into the global leader in health care innovation.

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