Nurse decision-support reduces re-admissions

Patients are re-admitted to hospitals less frequently if electronic medical data systems offer the nurses well-defined care plans options, according to the preliminary results of a joint study. The study was sponsored by EMR vendor Cerner, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Aurora Health Care. Aurora has already implemented a Cerner EMR product across its entire system, which includes 13 hospitals and a network of outpatient centers. The study, which is jointly funded by Aurora, the University and Cerner, involves about 100 nurses Aurora's Kenosha hospital. Using the EMR, nurses have access to about 50 different care plans, and select from among them based on the patient's diagnosis. The system gives nurses background and tips on how to help patients with difficult issues, such as how to stick to a medication schedule. Also included are care plan are guidelines helping the nurse teach patients how to care for themselves appropriately after discharge. While the project has only been ongoing for a few months, nurses feel that re-admissions have already dropped.

Find out more about the program:
- check out this piece in the The Business Journal of Milwaukee
- read Cerner's case study on the Aurora-wide EMR implementation (.pdf)

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