The clinical decision support application monitors medical tests, the health status of patients and notifies clinicians when they require advanced disease therapies.
The research team found that the app led to the significantly improved detection of disease advancements such as an increase in patients' survival rates as well as improve quality of life.
"We found that clinical decision support can facilitate the early identification of patients needing advanced heart failure therapy and that its use was associated with significantly more patients visiting specialised heart facilities and longer survival," revealed the team led by R. Scott Evans, Medical Informatics director at Intermountain Healthcare, a not-for-profit firm in Utah, the US.
"But patients typically aren't monitored every day and it's hard for doctors to stay up to date on all the research regarding heart failure," Evans said, in the paper published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure.
Features of the App
- The computer application first identified those with new echocardiograms that showed a left ventricular ejection fraction of less than 35 percent which is the cut-off that indicates a patient's condition is deteriorating.
- The app monitors their records for relevant signs of progression, such as visits to the hospital or emergency department, lab tests, use of diuretics, technological assistance like left ventricular support, data from EKGs.
- The mined data is then applied to the algorithms.
- When computer monitoring indicates a patient likely has advanced heart failure, the app automatically sends a secure email to the patient's doctors.
- It also includes the recommended therapy and all the relevant information that triggered the alert.
- It lists phone numbers and links so doctors can easily connect the patients with advanced heart failure specialists.