By Joseph Goedert , Aug. 21, 2015, 7:43am ET, Health Data Management
Healogics, an organization of wound care physicians treating patients in nearly 800
hospital outpatient clinics, can take data from 150,000 patients and predict pretty well
which ones will fail to heal appropriately or have to undergo an amputation within the next
The growing ability to predict patients most at risk, right now a proof of concept program,
came recently as Healogics is working with Stanford University, Ohio State University and
the University of Miami. The idea is to help physicians better treat these patients, track
them to make sure they aren’t missing appointments, and if the patient can’t be healed, to
manage the condition so it doesn’t get worse.
Having information to inform physicians prospectively of the highest risk patients and the
ability to change patient outcomes shows the power of data analytics, says Jeff Nelson,
CEO at the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company, which has spent $15 million over the past
four years building its data analytics capability. Today, the database, called i-heal, holds
information on more than 1 million unique patients, equating to 2.6 million wounds.
Non-healing chronic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers, inadequate
blood flow from arterial ulcers and vascular disease account for about 90 percent of
chronic wounds, which are particularly prevalent among the 26 million Americans
estimated to have diabetes, according to the company.
About one-third of the wound clinics have a proprietary wound care electronic health
records system also called i-heal, that feeds data into the database and also interfaces
with a hospital’s EHR. The other clinics, using a variety of EH Rs, must manually key
information into the database. Like other providers in the industry, Healogics faces a
common problem-not having sufficient information exchange capabilities in most markets.
Healogics has used various types of databases since the early 2000s. Work stated with
vendor Net Health in 2011 to create i-heal as a standard database, along with uniform
processes for collecting and analyzing data across clinics in 46 states.