The adage "you don't know what you don't know" has never been more true than in the case of electronic health information (EHI). An absence of knowledge can have disastrous results. Without the right data at the right time, clinical decisions can be misinformed, resulting in higher costs and poor outcomes. Simply put, providers need data that informs clinical decision-making.
When a patient requires emergency care, they are treated by someone other than their primary care physician. During this encounter, data is collected that will be crucial for follow-up with the primary provider. But that data doesn't always make it back to your regular doctor.
What if you see your physician on a Tuesday about something that worsens over the course of the week and lands you in the emergency room on Saturday night? You'd want them to know what happened right away. And you’d want the details of the care you received in the ER to be available to your primary care provider so they can follow up with you and arrange for any subsequent treatment that’s needed. That's where ADTs come in.
ADT data refers to patient admissions, discharges, and transfer alerts. This data includes information about a patient's location, attending physician, diagnosis, insurance information, and other key snippets of information. It is a crucial component of care coordination that helps ensure every member of the patient's care team of providers has access to up-to-date information about their condition and treatment.
The management of patient care has become increasingly complex in recent years, with a growing number of technology systems that store patient data. This has led to the need for better coordination of care, and one important tool in achieving this goal is the use of electronic health records (EHRs) that include patient visit summaries, medication lists, lab results, plus supplemental data such as social determinants of health (SDOH) data.
ADT data is essential because it not only follows the patient, but makes patient journeys visible to their care teams. By capturing information about when and where a patient was admitted, discharged, and transferred, healthcare providers can track their progress and ensure that they receive appropriate care at every stage. ADT data is also critical for ensuring care coordination between different providers, which is essential for reducing redundant or improper care, preventing medical errors, and improving patient outcomes and satisfaction.
In the modern world of increasing interoperability, and freer exchange of medical histories and patient records, many would be surprised to hear that this is not a given.
In fact, a large share of primary care physicians never know when their patients are admitted to the hospital – and the consequences of this are dire. We'll dig into why this is so important, and how EHR vendors can ensure that their providers get the data they need.
A growing body of research supports the importance and need for ADT data to improve outcomes, contain costs, and support care coordination.
Studies have indicated a ten-fold increased risk of readmission for patients who fail to see a physician within 30 days of discharge from the hospital. And yet one-third of primary care physicians are never notified that their patient was hospitalized, making it unlikely that patients will receive needed follow-up care. Makes sense, right? If your doctor doesn’t know you were in the ER, how would they know to follow up with you?
Hospital readmissions not only compromise patient outcomes, they also place undue financial burdens on the entire health system, costing Medicare an estimated $26 billion annually – and $17 billion of those readmissions are considered preventable.
Not only does ADT data help reduce readmissions and over-utilization of hospital services, it has been demonstrated to lower administrative costs and boost both provider efficiency and patient satisfaction.
Since May 2021, CMS has mandated ADT notification compliance, requiring Medicare and Medicaid participating hospitals, including psychiatric and critical access hospitals (CAHs), to send electronic patient event notifications of patients' admission, discharge, and/or transfer (ADT) to their primary care provider as well as post-acute care facilities, specialists, and any other medical provider specified by the patient.
Despite the benefits of ADT data and support for its use, it can still be hard to get. Some individual hospitals or Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) provide ADT data within certain regions. And currently no complete national network of ADT data exists – so there are still gaps.
There are also challenges in implementing this data due to the lack of standardization in how ADT data is captured and transmitted between different EHR systems. This can lead to inconsistencies in the way patient data is recorded and shared, compromising the accuracy and completeness of the data.
To address this, healthcare providers and EHR vendors need to work together to establish standards for the capture and transmission of ADT data. This will require collaboration and coordination across the healthcare industry, as well as investment in new technologies and infrastructure.
According to a survey by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), over 75% of healthcare providers consider ADT data to be "very important" or "critical" to their operations. However, despite its importance, many organizations struggle to manage ADT data effectively – because it is high in volume, sometimes there’s too much of it and it’s hard to separate the data you need from the data you don’t.
Another survey from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) found that only 54% of healthcare providers have a comprehensive ADT management strategy in place, which means these problems are far from solved.
Health Gorilla’s ADT Data makes each step in a patient’s care journey visible to care teams.
With connections to real-time admission, discharge, and transfer feeds nationwide, ADT Data empowers providers and payers to seamlessly manage transitions of care, build more efficient workflows, reduce emergency department over-utilization, and enhance patient satisfaction. ADT Data includes data from in-patient and emergency room encounters and contains patient identification, contact information, event type, sending facility, insurance, diagnosis, and other key information for care teams.
Replacing time-consuming point-to-point connections, Health Gorilla’s ADT Data saves teams months of engineering time with a single API. Health Gorilla’s ADT Data also drives actionability with customizable notifications that can be filtered by event and encounter type – so providers only see what they want to see.
By making sure care teams are getting the ADT Data they need, this technology is enabling better care coordination across the healthcare continuum, more efficient provider and payer workflows, and improved patient satisfaction and health outcomes.
For more information about how you can get started with ADT Data, reach out to us and one of our interoperability experts will show you the way. View our API documentation here.
Interested in learning more? RSVP for our webinar titled “The Role of ADT Alerts in Coordinated Care” at 10 a.m. Pacific / 1 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, May 31. The panel will be moderated by Jitin Asnaani, Executive Advisor at Health Gorilla and former Executive Director of CommonWell Health Alliance. Panelists include Steven Lane MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer of Health Gorilla, Farah Saeed, Interoperability Leader at eClinicalWorks, and Chris Pugliese, Director of Product Interoperability at ResMed.