Denver Health, Microsoft, EMC team for diabetes text messaging program

By: Brian Dolan | Apr 21, 2011        

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Microsoft's Jack Hersey

Jack Hersey, GM, US Public Sector Health and Human Services, Microsoft

This week hospital group Denver Health, Microsoft, and EMC announced early results from a text message powered diabetes program that aimed to help patients better self manage their condition.

Denver Health sent patients text message reminders about upcoming appointments and asked patients to text in their daily glucose readings. Denver Health case managers tracked the patients glucose control between the patients’ visits in an attempt to improve condition management, reduce admission rates and reduce costs.

“Denver Health designed the program with the understanding that many of their patients do not have regular access to computers or smartphones. Their Chronic Condition Management platform (CCM), which is built on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SQL Server 2008, helps doctors and diabetics communicate via text message in between regular office visits,” Jack Hersey, General Manager, U.S. Public Sector Health and Human Services, Microsoft wrote in a recent blog post. “Medical staff establish appropriate reminders in the CCM system, which then automatically sends text message reminders to patients. These reminders prompt patients about their upcoming appointments and remind patients to text in their daily blood glucose readings. This allows Denver Health case managers to track patients’ blood glucose control in between visits. If a patient’s blood glucose levels are too low or too high, clinicians can intervene by directing patients to schedule an office visit to review their health status.”

While the companies were not forthcoming with specific details around the program’s results: Hersey wrote that participating patients are more engaged in the management of their disease, according to Denver Health, and doctors are able to quickly identify patients suffering from dangerously high and low blood sugar readings.

More over at Hersey’s blog post or in the press release below:

Microsoft Implements Chronic Condition Management Platform at Denver Health

Program uses familiar technology for communication between caregivers and diabetes patients.

REDMOND, Wash., and DENVER — April 20, 2011 — Microsoft Corp. today announced early results from a Chronic Condition Management (CCM) platform deployment at Denver Health. The platform is the foundation of a larger program designed to encourage patients to self-manage conditions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes affects more than 25 million people, or a little more than 8 percent of the U.S. population.1 Because of this, during the demonstration and study phases of the program, Denver Health first assessed the effectiveness of a between-visit, chronic-disease management program for its high-risk diabetes patients. The program is based on a bidirectional, CCM platform that enables patient-provider communication. It facilitates patient-provided data collection through text message queries to diabetic patients about home blood sugar measurements and also facilitates sending reminders to patients of upcoming appointments. Case coordinators at Denver Health review self-reported patient data and follow up with patients by phone, in accordance with established clinical guidelines.

In the first phase of Denver Health’s CCM program, patients both responded to the text messages and improved their home glucose monitoring. Providers reported on the engagement of patients around their diabetes care and on the identification of patients suffering from low blood sugar.

“The long-standing model of chronic disease management through the standard provider office visit does not support the patients’ need to manage their disease on a daily basis. We believe that using bidirectional communications within a chronic condition management system may be an effective method to provide care for chronic conditions beyond the traditional clinic setting,” said Andy Steele, M.D., director of Medical Informatics at Denver Health.

The CCM platform was developed using several integrated Microsoft technologies, including Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft SQL Server 2008. This software, coupled with EMC Corp.’s healthcare process design and technology development service, which was implemented by EMC Consulting as part of its trusted-advisor role on the project, creates a flexible platform for providers of any size to address a number of chronic diseases, each with increasing program complexity.

“We are considering expanding the CCM platform to integrate with other clinical databases in order to identify and reach out to at-risk patients,” said Gregg Veltri, chief information officer at Denver Health.

“Changes in reimbursement policies are driving the need for organizations to quickly develop strategies and deploy programs to reduce re-admission rates for patients with chronic conditions,” said Jack Hersey, general manager for the U.S. Public Sector Health and Human Services at Microsoft. “Solutions such as Denver Health’s Chronic Condition Management platform can have an immediate impact on re-admission rates and are easily replicated and implemented as part of any hospital or clinic’s at-home chronic condition management programs.”

“Denver Health is always looking for new ways to improve patient care, and EMC is pleased to be collaborating with them and with Microsoft on this innovative initiative. These types of efforts can have far-reaching impacts on the healthcare industry, and EMC is constantly striving to help its customers to better use technology to enhance patient care and streamline the healthcare delivery process,” said David Dimond, national healthcare leader, EMC Consulting.

More information about how Microsoft solutions and EMC’s consulting services can be used to build innovative provider technology solutions is available at http://www.microsoft.com/health/en-us/solutions/Pages/chronic-condition-management.aspx and http://www.emc.com/services/consulting/industry/expertise/healthcare.htm.

About Denver Health

Denver Health is the Rocky Mountain Region’s Level 1 academic trauma center, and the safety net hospital for the Denver area. The Denver Health system, which integrates acute and emergency care with public and community health, includes the Rocky Mountain Regional Trauma Center, Denver’s 911 emergency medical response system, Denver Health Paramedic Division, eight family health centers, 13 school-based health centers, the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center, NurseLine, Correctional Care, Denver CARES, Denver Public Health, the Denver Health Foundation and the Rocky Mountain Center for Medical Response to Terrorism, Mass Casualties and Epidemics.

About Microsoft in Health

Microsoft is committed to improving health around the world through software innovation. Over the past 13 years, Microsoft has steadily increased its investments in health with a focus on addressing the challenges of health providers, health and social services organizations, payers, consumers and life sciences companies worldwide. Microsoft closely collaborates with a broad ecosystem of partners and delivers its own powerful health solutions, such as Amalga, HealthVault, and a portfolio of identity and access management technologies acquired from Sentillion Inc. in 2010. Together, Microsoft and its industry partners are working to deliver health solutions for the way people aspire to work and live.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

1 CDC, National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2011, http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/pdf/ndfs_2011.pdf