Dynamic new software improves care of aging brain, study shows

March 14, 2013

Innovative medical records software developed by geriatricians and informaticians from the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University Center for Aging Research will provide more personalized health care for older adult patients, a population at significant risk for mental health decline and disorders.

A new study published in eGEMs, a peer-reviewed online publication recently launched by the Electronic Data Methods Forum, unveils the enhanced Software, an automated decision-support system that enables care coordinators to track the health of the aging brain and help meet the complex biopsychosocial needs of patients and their informal caregivers.

The eMR-ABC captures and monitors the cognitive, functional, behavioral and psychological symptoms of older adults suffering from dementia or depression. It also collects information on the burden placed on patients' .

Utilizing this information, the software application provides decision support to care coordinators, who, working with physicians, social workers and other members of the health care team, create a personalized care plan that includes evidence-based non-pharmacological protocols, self-management handouts and alerts of medications with potentially adverse cognitive effects. The software's built-in engine tracks patient visits and can be used to generate population reports for specified indicators such as or caregiver burnout.

"The number of older adults is growing rapidly. Delivering personalized care to this population is difficult and requires the ability to track a large number of mental and physical indicators," said Regenstrief Institute investigator Malaz Boustani, M.D., MPH, associate director of the IU Center for Aging Research and associate professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine. He is senior author of the new study. "The software we have developed will help care coordinators measure the many needs of patients and their loved ones and monitor the effectiveness of individualized care plans."

In clinical trials over the past decade, Regenstrief and the IU Center for Aging Research investigator-clinicians developed and demonstrated the efficacy of an Alzheimer's disease collaborative care model called the Aging Brain Care Medical Home. A hallmark of the ABC-MedHome is the employment of care coordinators who help clinicians identify and manage processes and protocols for Alzheimer's patients who receive care in local primary care physician offices. The ABC-MedHome has been shown to improve the quality of Alzheimer's care and decrease its burden on the health care system.

Within the ABC-MedHome program, Dr. Boustani and colleagues have now developed, tested, implemented and improved software that is sensitive to the clinical needs of a multispecialty team of professionals who provide care to complex patients across a variety of settings. The new software allows tracking of individual patient health outcomes as well as the ability to follow the status of an entire patient population with key quality, health and cost metrics.

"Integration of the eMR-ABC program within Wishard-Eskenazi Health was pivotal to our receipt in 2012 of a Innovation Challenge award from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to expand from care of 250 patients to 2,000 patients plus caregivers," said Dr. Boustani, who is medical director of the Wishard Healthy Aging Brain Center and also an IU Health geriatrician. "New models of care, supported by population health management tools, are needed if we are to provide improved quality of care and encourage better health outcomes for our and be cost sensitive. We are using health information technology to manage high-risk populations while achieving the triple aim of better and better care at lower cost."

Explore further: Regenstrief extending successful aging brain care model globally

More information: "Development and Implementation of an Electronic Decision Support to Manage the Health of a High-Risk Population: The enhanced Electronic Medical Record Aging Brain Care Software (eMR-ABC)" eGEMs, 2013.

Related Stories

Regenstrief extending successful aging brain care model globally

May 2, 2012
The resources developed for an innovative collaborative model of dementia care, which reduces emergency room and hospital visits and improves the quality of care for those with dementia, are now available to institutions, ...

Dementia care model that reduces hospitalizations successfully translated into practice

May 31, 2012
An innovative model of dementia care that significantly reduces emergency department visits and hospitalizations, and encourages use of medications that are not harmful to older brains, has now been used to treat over 1,000 ...

Free, user-friendly 'blood pressure cuff' for dementia is reliable and valid: research

June 14, 2012
A new study shows that a practical clinical tool developed by researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University School of Medicine to measure severity of dementia symptoms is reliable and valid. The Healthy ...

Recommended for you

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

Safety of medical devices not often evaluated by sex, age, or race

July 25, 2017
Researchers at Yale and the University of California-San Francisco have found that few medical devices are analyzed to consider the influence of their users' sex, age, or race on safety and effectiveness.

Why you should consider more than looks when choosing a fitness tracker

July 25, 2017
A UNSW study of five popular physical activity monitors, including Fitbit and Jawbone models, has found their accuracy differs with the speed of activity, and where they are worn.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.