May 2017 - Issue 10
Welcome to the Battelle Health & Analytics, a quarterly publication from Battelle. We put this together as a service to our public health clients, to keep you informed of the latest public health news from our researchers and the industry.
The Battelle Health & Analytics team works with agencies and healthcare institutions to advance public health research, practice and policy with the latest science and technology. Battelle Health and Analytics will keep you up-to-date on cutting edge research and public health innovations.
Hospital administrators, clinicians and insurers have access to more data than ever before. But is the data really making a difference in healthcare quality?
Hospitals and healthcare providers record, track and monitor data on dozens of individual healthcare quality indicators; even small facilities can collect thousands of data points in a single day. These indicators include measures of patient safety, adverse events and health outcomes, along with measures of healthcare processes and systems.
Advances in health IT have made it easier than ever to collect, record and analyze all this data. At the same time, market forces are pushing hospitals and healthcare providers to expand and standardize their data collection. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires hospitals to report key measures such as adverse events and hospital readmissions in order to qualify for reimbursement.
These changes have resulted in a treasure trove of data points that hospitals could use to make quality improvement decisions. However, data collection and reporting is not always effectively connected to decision making by hospital administrators, quality managers and individual doctors and nurses. To make that happen, all of this quality indicator data must first be transformed into clear, understandable information and actionable next steps.
Data-driven healthcare has the potential to improve the healthcare system in two important ways. Done right, it can:
Help hospitals make decisions that improve patient outcomes
Find inefficiencies and reduce healthcare costs
However, to get there, data cannot merely be collected. It must actually be used. Data that is usable to drive effective decisions shares four essential qualities. It must be:
When data meets these criteria, hospitals and healthcare providers can answer critical questions such as:
How have different metrics of patient safety and quality changed over time?
How do trends compare to appropriately selected peers?
Are the changes observed statistically significant and meaningful?
Have quality improvement initiatives resulted in improved outcomes such as reduced morbidity and mortality, cost savings, reduced days of care or reduced adverse events?
Analytical tools such as Battelle WayFinder Q.I. Dashboard can help hospitals better use and understand the data they are already collecting. These tools help hospitals and healthcare providers make better decisions that lead to better outcomes for patients, payers and providers.
Download the full white paper here.
Clinical Decision Support (CDS) tools can make doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers smarter and more effective. But how close is the industry to truly realizing their promise?
The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (HealthIT.gov) defines CDS as a system that “provides clinicians, staff, patients or other individuals with knowledge and person-specific information, intelligently filtered or presented at appropriate times, to enhance health and health care.” Today’s CDS tools use data from a variety of sources – including medical sensors, electronic health records (EHRs), physicians’ and nurses’ observations and clinical knowledge bases – to provide real-time guidance to clinicians.
Done right, CDS tools can:
Improve patient outcomes
Reduce medical errors and adverse events
Increase efficiency for clinicians
Reduce healthcare costs
However, currently available tools only scratch the surface of what will be possible with advanced analytics and machine learning. Using these new technologies, clinicians, epidemiologists and researchers will soon be able to mine data from Electronic Health Records (EHR) and scientific literature to find patterns in the data that can be used to drive decisions for diagnosis, treatment, disease surveillance and product development.
This is already within reach using currently available technologies. However, limitations to usability and interoperability still present challenges that have prevented CDS from reaching its full potential. Before the industry can maximize the utility of CDS tools, significant market, technical and human constraints must be resolved. Once that happens, CDS and data analytics are poised to take healthcare to a whole new level.
Read the full article by Dr. Darryl W. Roberts and Dr. David Friedenberg here.
Many of the Battelle’s most celebrated innovations share something in common: the magic touch of Dr. Steve Risser. Since joining Battelle in 1999, Steve has worked on 250 projects, led and supported five strategic initiatives, helped spin off a company and assisted in monetizing close to a dozen inventions.
His work and patents have now earned him recognition as a Battelle Distinguished Inventor and Battelle’s Inventor of the Year for 2017.
Over the years, Steve’s research has spanned energy storage, photovoltaics, protective equipment and medical devices. An advanced materials expert with a Ph.D. in Physics from Kent State University, Steve’s main areas of technical focus are electromagnetics, electrochemical properties and biomolecular interfaces. He applies this expertise to the development and application of novel materials to improve product performance or enable new product functions for medical, defense and industrial clients.
A significant percentage of his work has focused on the medical device field. “Medical devices can be very complicated,” he explains. “You are bringing biological materials in contact with a variety of substrates that can lead to unexpected challenges. There are real opportunities for novel inventions that address these challenges in different ways.”
One of the innovative medical products Steve helped to develop is an adjustable replacement lens for patients undergoing cataract surgery. The technology allows the surgeon to fine tune the lens after implantation. This allows for correction of vision abnormalities that can’t be treated with a conventional lens due to its slight shift in position during healing. The novel approach to vision adjustment is an improvement on similar technologies already in use in Europe. Battelle is currently looking for a partner to bring the technology to market.
Steve also was instrumental in the creation of a sleeve technology that is part of the Battelle NeuroLife™ neural bypass system. NeuroLife was used to enable a quadriplegic man to regain control of his hand and fingers. Brain signals picked up by a chip implanted in his motor cortex are interpreted using data analytics and translated into electrical signals delivered to his arm via an electrode-impregnated sleeve, bypassing the damaged portions of his spinal cord. Steve and his team developed a gel that improves contact for the electrodes in the sleeve and allows the electrical signals to better penetrate the outer layers of skin to stimulate the muscles.
Steve’s prolific work is reflected in his patents. This year, he received his 17th patent, earning him a gold medal as a Battelle Distinguished Inventor – an honor shared with fewer than 100 other scientists. He currently has another 17 patent applications pending. He has also produced 72 Intellectual Property Disclosure Records during his time at Battelle.
However, he is not one to rest on his laurels. He is continuing work on several current projects at Battelle, including development and validation of a new manufacturing process that will allow a diagnostic device manufacturer to move a novel technology into high-speed production.
Reflecting on his work at Battelle, Steve says, “There are still a lot of problems left to solve out there—and a lot of new opportunities.”
Please join us in welcoming our latest additions to the Battelle Health and Analytics team. Their research and clinical expertise will help us to continue to expand our public health research programs and services.
Dr. Summer Galloway joined the Battelle Technical Onsite Professional Services (TOPS) team in November to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) global and U.S. policy regarding influenza surveillance and response as well as seasonal and pandemic vaccine improvements and next generation vaccine development. In this role, she works directly with the Director of the CDC World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center, one of six global research centers working together to track the spread of different strains of influenza and plan vaccine development and response activities.
Summer is an accomplished infectious disease scientist with deep experience in biosurveillance; emerging infectious diseases; chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threat reduction; national security policy; science and technology policy; and public health.
She holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and dual Bachelor’s degrees in Biochemistry and Psychology from the University of Tennessee. She later completed post-doctoral work and served on the faculty at Emory University School of Medicine, where she was an investigator for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS). Her work for NIAID included independent research on the factors that affect influenza A virus replication and cross-species transmission.
Prior to coming to Battelle, she was a Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs for the Department of Defense (DoD). Here, she provided oversight of DoD’s activities under the Global Health Security Agenda and developed policy and strategic objectives for Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) threat reduction programs in Eurasia, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Her work at CDC will support global and U.S. policy as well as global surveillance of influenza, which informs development of the seasonal flu vaccines.
She is currently focused on an initiative to assess the potential to standardize serology data across the Collaborating Centers as well as ongoing risk assessment analysis, strategic planning and innovation for improving the seasonal vaccine process. Please join us in welcoming Summer to the TOPS team and the CDC Collaborating Center.
Battelle is pleased to welcome Brian Lane in his new role with the Battelle Technical Onsite Professional Services (TOPS) team. Brian joined TOPS in October 2016 and is currently embedded in the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) laboratories in Georgia. In this role, he leads a team responsible for improving laboratory quality and safety systems across more than 250 CDC/NIOSH laboratories.
Brian brings extensive experience in laboratory safety and quality assurance. Prior to joining the TOPS team, he worked directly for the CDC as the Laboratory Quality and Data Manager for the CDC Tobacco Laboratory. He served in a similar role with the CDC Tobacco Laboratory during a previous engagement with Battelle from 2013-2014. Brian holds an M.S. in Medical Science from the University of South Florida and a B.A. in Philosophy from Gonzaga University.
Over his 20-year career, he has held a number of laboratory technician, management and quality roles in government and commercial labs. He has also served on several advisory committees and working groups for the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) and other industry groups. In 2015, he received the Excellence in Laboratory Quality Award from the National Centers for Environmental Health.
At the CDC, Brian directly supports the Directors of Laboratory Science and Laboratory Safety as the agency works towards upgrading and modernizing their laboratory processes. Brian’s broad experience with applying quality systems, including ISO/IEC 17025, across different laboratory environments will help the CDC develop compliant quality systems tailored to the unique needs of each of their labs. Please join us in welcoming Brian to the TOPS team.
How are use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana intertwined? Dr. Erica Peters, a Principal Research Scientist on the Battelle Health and Analytics team, is leading several new studies to find out. Read More
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