Sutter Health and Alameda Health System have teamed to install software at six Oakland, Calif., area hospitals in an effort to reroute patients who frequent their emergency departments to other appropriate care and services.
The hospitals used grant funding to install PreManage ED system, a product widely used in Oregon and Washington, that alerts the participating hospitals when a patient jumps from ER to ER, Sutter and Alemeda announced this week.
Once identified, the hospitals attempt to coordinate the patient's care with navigators or others, including social service agencies, to ensure that they are being seen in the appropriate setting, the health systems said.
“This historic partnership for care coordination within emergency services furthers our vision to promote wellness, eliminate disparities and optimize the health of our diverse communities,” said Alameda Health CEO Delvecchio Finley. “While too many barriers to optimal care remain in our communities, the initial gains through this initiative serve as evidence for the benefits to patient-centered care made possible by collaboration.”
The systems said that nearly 40% of all ER visits in California can be classified as non-urgent and treatable in a primary care setting or avoidable with appropriate, timely care. They added that the patients often rely on more than one hospital in a region and visit an ER up to three times per week to get care.
The participating hospitals are Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland and Berkeley; Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch; Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley; Highland Hospital in Oakland; and San Leandro Hospital in San Leandro.
PreManage ED was developed by Collective Medical Technologies.
Since installing the software in March, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center has found that 10% of more than 16,000 patients registered in the system had six or more emergency-room visits in the past year.
Non-urgent ER visits cost hospitals and payers about $38 billion annually, the systems said.
The software was paid for by Sutter Health's nonprofit foundation, Better Health East Bay, and the California Health Care Foundation.