UHC to implement Zynx Health information tools
University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) has chosen Zynx Health to provide evidence-based tools on the Internet to all UHC hospitals. Through a suite of clinical data products, Zynx will provide pharmacists, nurses, and physicians with access to up-to-date evidence-based clinical information important in clinical decision making.
Zynx and UHC anticipate improved clinical performance and patient safety as a result of implementation of the information systems. The key to success of the systems lies in their ability to allow the health care team to customize evidence-based approaches to care, using peer-reviewed literature, and to facilitate improvement around the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations’ (JCAHO’s) core performance measures.
"Zynx Health will provide UHC with three different databases," says Gregory Dorn, MD, MPH, senior director for marketing and sales with Zynx. "The first of these is the Clinical Pathway Constructor (CPC), which provides continuously updated peer-reviewed literature in a digested format for acute care management of patients with 23 different conditions," Dorn tells Drug Utilization Review. "These conditions cover the causes for the majority of hospital admissions. The system then presents information about how to treat populations of patients with these conditions.
"Instead of presenting each article’s abstract, we write a separate summary. A physician writes a one paragraph summary that is then edited twice — once for technical content, and once for readability. The summaries are objective. We also indicate the level of rigor of the studies, based on study design. The articles are organized based on topic areas. Each topic area then is summarized into a recommendation. Or, if conclusive data are too ambiguous, no recommendation is made." Dorn adds that the CPC provides aggregate medical literature. It should not be thought of as a drug information source in the traditional sense of the term. Rather, the database presents outcomes and consensus information about disease states and the medications used to treat them, based on the medical literature.
"The second system UHC will have is the Evidence-Based Forecaster. This system addresses the seven conditions that form the focus of the Health Care Financing Administration’s Sixth Scope of Work. With this system, hospitals can measure their performance around the quality indicators provided by HCFA, as well as those extracted from the medical literature. There is much overlap in the two, but there are indicators in the literature that HCFA does not address. UHC hospitals can then ascertain their compliance with HCFA’s Sixth Scope of Work," says Dorn.
Keep safety on track
"The Safety Optimizer is the third system," says Dorn. "This is a patient safety tool based on 10 patient safety issues, including medication errors, patient falls, patient restrains, and more. Health care providers can use this system to measure and track inpatient safety issues, including adverse events. The system also provides safety implementation strategies obtained from the medical literature. Additionally, Zynx has the permission of JCAHO to include both the sentinel events reporting and root cause analysis forms in the Safety Optimizer system."
"All three systems are updated quarterly and are available to participating institutions on the Internet. Access is secure and compartmentalized, though, so that systems from one hospital cannot be viewed by another."
Dorn expects application of the systems in UHC institutions to decrease work time for pharmacists. "It should decrease time pharmacists would otherwise spend looking up information on Medline and elsewhere," he says. "It will help pharmacists answer questions they could probably answer on a case-by-case basis anyhow, but which would otherwise take longer to research." In addition, Dorn says that consensus of information and recommendations available in the CPC database is not available by performing a Medline search.
"The interface is very intuitive," Dorn tells DUR, describing its user-friendliness. "Of course, it still requires the health care giver’s initiative to carry out the recommendations, but this would not relieve the professional from exercising cognitive efforts. The information in the systems is not overly prescriptive. These tools still need local review of information and customization of the products to protocols at specific institutions.
• Gregory Dorn, Senior Director for Marketing and Sales, Zynx Health, 9100 Wilshire Blvd., East Tower, Suite 655, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Telephone: (310) 247-7700.