Christiana nets $10M from CMS for IT-focused heart care
Christiana Care Health System of Wilmington, Del., has been awarded a $10 million grant from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to design a new care model that will harness IT to approach gaps that currently exist in healthcare.

Christiana's proposal is tailored to use existing hospital and office information systems to trigger alerts specifically for patients who need extra care both during hospitalization and upon discharge to their homes. The alerts will aid a team of nurses and other healthcare professionals to respond to the patients, enabling them to recuperate in their homes and safeguarding them from symptoms that can result in a readmission, according to the provider.

Christiana's proposal – known as the "Bridging the Divides" model – was one of 107 projects picked for the Innovation Grants from more than 3,000 applicants nationwide. The proposal will aim at improving care in numerous ways, including:
  • Using predictive analytics to identify which patients are more likely to experience readmissions, develop complications and need a higher level of care.
  • Creating an electronic patient portal and personal health record to enable patients to communicate with the care management team.
  • Comparing patient-specific outcomes with evidence-based recommendations in cardiology.
  • Using a software-driven care management program designed to improve patient outcomes.

The project is focused on treating patients who suffer from ischemic heart disease, and will use the Delaware Health Information Network. Because this network functions as a data collector for all Delaware hospitals and collects more than 92 percent of lab results statewide, healthcare professionals already are capable of accessing the most current, critical information on patients.

Christiana's partners in the project include the American College of Cardiology, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the University of Delaware. The partners also include several doctors in the community.

The $1 billion CMMI Health Care Innovation Challenge–funded through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010– provides three-year grants of $1 million to $30 million to healthcare providers, payors, local government entities and public-private partnerships.