Agency leverages machine learning to enhance care coordination to best serve patients and families at the end of life
In line with a long Minnesota tradition of healthcare innovation, St. Croix Hospice is proud to be the only hospice agency to implement a newly developed predictive modeling technology which enhances hospice patient care in the critical final days of life.
“As hospices across the country are scrutinized for a lack of visits during a patient’s final days, St. Croix Hospice already led the industry in providing experienced hands-on care for patients in the last three days of life and has now further enhanced our expert care coordination with the adoption of this cutting-edge tool,” said St. Croix Hospice Medical Director Dr. Andrew Mayo. “We are there when we are needed the most.”
Hospice quality measures include in-person care in both the last seven and three days of life when death is imminent. Although St. Croix Hospice has historically been above state and national averages for those visits, the agency launched the Voyage Vigil Program in 2019 to further ensure we are there for patients, families and caregivers at the end of life. 2019 data reported St. Croix Hospice patients received an average of 6.48 visits in the last seven days of life from medical social workers, chaplains, LPNs and/or hospice aides. And in the last three days of life our patients received an average of 3.23 visits by a physician, RN and/or nurse practitioner.
“The use of world-class analytics further enhances the St. Croix Hospice clinical team’s care coordination throughout a patient’s time in hospice, and our ability to anticipate the need for additional bedside care as the patient progresses,” said Dr. Mayo. During a pilot of the predictive modeling technology last month, St. Croix Hospice immediately recognized the benefits of enhanced care coordination and moved quickly to implement the program across our entire agency in order to provide the added benefits to all patients.
With a focus on clinical excellence, this technology supports the St. Croix Hospice care team’s expert assessment of patient needs by leveraging machine learning to analyze thousands of data points, including vital signs, symptoms, medication changes, Voyage Vigil Program visits and in-person assessments, and then integrating that data with St. Croix Hospice’s EMR. The clinical team is then alerted when data indicates a patient is transitioning toward the end of life and may benefit from additional visits.
St. Croix Hospice made this pioneering investment in care, knowing these evidence-based data-driven insights would support our push toward fully informed coordination and communication with patient, families, facilities and physicians. The predictive modeling tool is an accurate indicator, to be used in conjunction with the clinical assessment, to ensure excellence in care planning and symptom management during the last days of a patient’s life.
St. Croix Hospice is committed to providing enhanced quality of life for all those we serve and will continue to be a trail blazer in innovation, seeking out cutting-edge tools and technology to support our promise of being there when we are needed the most.
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