ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- athenahealth, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHN), a leading provider of network-enabled services and mobile applications for healthcare providers nationwide, today announced that it will roll out a series of “Network Medicine” health campaigns. Working in collaboration with preeminent specialty societies, including the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), the American College of Cardiology (ACC), and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), these campaigns will surveil athenahealth’s national cloud network, surface patients who may be at risk of various health threats, and engage their providers to accelerate care. This announcement was made at the 2017 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition.
With nearly 100 new clinical guidelines introduced each month, many of today’s clinicians struggle to stay up-to-date on ever evolving best practices. This may lead to missed opportunities, inadvertent outdated treatments, and medical errors. By leveraging the scale of its network, athenahealth is able to precisely identify and activate providers treating patients who may have a high likelihood of being impacted by recent clinical guidance. As part of this workflow, appropriate care activation can happen faster than it does in traditional scenarios.
“Keeping abreast of the continuous stream of relevant clinical guidelines and alerts is challenging for any provider, regardless of specialty. The idea of Network Medicine – leveraging a national network to identify patients in need of certain care and activating a care team around them – will not only make clinicians smarter, but has great potential to save lives,” said Dr. Thomas Portuese, MD, Hudson Headwaters Health Network. “This type of innovation is incredibly exciting for our doctors, patients and communities.”
To date, athenahealth has seen initial success in alerting providers and patients at risk of public health crises such as the Zika virus, identifying over 6,000 patients at risk of contracting the virus in Wynwood and Miami Beach, Florida, and Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
“When the Zika virus hit Florida, we were concerned not only about our pregnant patients, but those who could potentially become pregnant,” said Dr. Diego I. Shmuels, Director of Clinical Practice Management, Borinquen Health Care Center of Miami Dade. “Together with athenahealth, we were able to activate the CDC’s updated guidelines, identify patients at high risk in our community, and encourage them to come in for screening.”
Building on the success of this initiative, athenahealth will roll out new campaigns in 2017 focused on the following primary, chronic and acute care scenarios:
- Preventing Medication Safety Risks During Pregnancy – athenahealth has collaborated with ACOG to help pinpoint and address potential safety risks for pregnant women taking commonly prescribed hypertension medications – ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers – which can cause fetal malformations according to FDA guidelines. The goal of the collaboration is to identify at-risk patients and notify their healthcare providers of the potential issue. Armed with this information, providers can take timely and appropriate actions, such as suggesting hypertension medications with a safer profile for pregnant women. To date, athenahealth has already alerted the providers of more than 60,000 women of child-bearing age who were taking ACE inhibitors. With an unintended pregnancy rate of 49 percent today in the US, this unique activation of providers and patients is designed to prevent at-risk pregnancies before they occur.
- Managing Opioids and Chronic Conditions – In its guidelines published in April 2016, the CDC identified 12 new opioid-focused recommendations for primary care clinicians. Together with providers such as Hudson Headwaters Health Network, athenahealth is leveraging its network to identify patients with pre-existing conditions such as sleep apnea, or drug interactions such as benzodiazepines, and arming providers with the latest dosage and duration guidance.
- Adjusting Cholesterol Treatment for Cardiovascular Patients – Based on the ACC’s prescribing guidelines for moderate to high-intensity statin drugs, athenahealth is working with providers to identify at-risk patients between the ages of 40 and 79 with an LDL-C between 70 and 189. According to the guidelines, many of these patients are in need of adjustments to their prescriptions to reduce the risks of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) events.
New campaigns focusing on HIV prevention and screening for lung cancer and developmental hip dysplasia are also planned for 2017.
“Medicine grows more complex each day, and it’s incredibly difficult for clinicians to stay current on medical innovation, new research, and therapeutic interventions. Technology must help connect clinical staff to better information without bogging them down,” said Jonathan Bush, CEO of athenahealth. “We’ve made it our mission to build the healthcare internet to make this industry work as it should. At athenahealth, we can uniquely look across our national network of nearly 88,000 providers, treating millions of patients across the U.S., and identify scenarios to activate care teams and patients. With Network Medicine and in collaboration with the best health and medical expert organizations across the country, we are able to drive better health and, in some instances, stamp out bad medicine.”
To learn more about athenahealth Network Medicine campaigns, please visit the athenahealth booth #3743 at HIMSS17. Follow athenahealth’s social media channels for on-site activity updates, times and locations, as well as timely insights from the athenahealth network.
About athenahealth, Inc.
athenahealth partners with hospital and ambulatory clients to drive clinical and financial results. We offer medical record, revenue cycle, patient engagement, care coordination, and population health services. We combine insights from our network of nearly 88,000 providers and nearly 86 million patients with deep industry knowledge and perform administrative work at scale. For more information, please visit www.athenahealth.com.
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