Five Iowa Health Systems Launch Statewide Alert Notification System

Five Iowa Health Systems Launch Statewide Alert Notification System

Author: Polly Carver-Kimm/Friday, June 24, 2016/Categories: IDPH News, General Health

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Iowa Medicaid Enterprise (IME) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) are pleased to announce five Iowa health care systems have begun using the Statewide Alert Notification (SWAN) system. This tool provides real-time, secure notifications to care teams regarding emergency room visits, admissions and discharges of their members.

“We are excited about the quick development of the SWAN system and the realization of its benefits,” said Marni Bussell, Director of the State Innovation Model (SIM) grant for the Iowa Department of Human Services. “The ability to share real-time encounter data with Iowa providers creates new opportunities to quickly engage patients and coordinate care.”

The five systems in Iowa currently receiving alerts include Broadlawns Medical Center, Unity Point Health Partners, Iowa Health+, University of Iowa Health Alliance and Mercy ACO.  Support through the SIM grant is currently available for Medicaid members served through these five health systems, with the goal to have more providers across the state use notifications for all patients to improve care coordination and health outcomes for all Iowans.

Broadlawns Medical Center has incorporated SWAN into its current care management process to ensure every patient receives a standard level of care when transitioning from Broadlawns to home or another health care setting. “This is particularly useful for patients with complex medical conditions who are seen regularly at outside organizations, and who would be unlikely to notify us of an admission,” said Broadlawns Care Team coordinator Kelly Jones.

The SWAN was developed as part of the $43.1 million federal State Innovation Model (SIM) testing grant, which was awarded to the State of Iowa in 2015. The SWAN focuses on improving the health care delivery system and patient care in the following ways:

  • provides timely care coordination activities necessary to improve outcomes and lower costs;
  • enables the exchange of relevant patient health information between providers as patients transition between care settings; and
  • provides greater clinical intelligence as providers move from a volume-based system into a value-based healthcare system.

Informatics Corporation of America (ICA) built and maintains the SWAN system. “ICA is pleased to have been chosen by the IME to support the SIM and provide our CareAlign® Insight platform and SmartAlerts solution to facilitate proactive care coordination efforts statewide,” said John Doulis, CEO of ICA. “SWAN will connect more than 100 hospitals across Iowa and provide event notifications for more than 630,000 Medicaid members.”

The SIM Testing grant is authorized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovations (CMMI), and is funded by Opportunity Number CMS-1F1-14-001 from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. The State of Iowa is one of eleven states awarded funds to develop innovative ways to transform healthcare, improve population health and promote sustainability.  More information on Iowa’s SIM grant can be found at http://dhs.iowa.gov/ime/about/state-innovation-models/testing-grant.


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