PHILADELPHIA—Penn Medicine has received four national, data-driven health care awards from Vizient, one of the country’s largest health care performance-improvement companies, whose services include workforce optimization, supply chain operations, and data and analytics. Ralph W. Muller, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, was also recently honored for his decades of service to academic medicine during the organization’s CEO Executive Board Meeting in Miami, Fla.
The Birnbaum Quality Leadership Performance Award was presented to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and ten other academic medical centers, and Chester County Hospital was among the nine winners of the award for complex teaching hospitals. Each of these hospitals and health systems were recognized for high performance in quality and safety in multiple domains of care. Penn Medicine was also the recipient of two Vizient Clinical Innovation Awards.
Birnbaum Quality Leadership Performance Award
The Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, Quality Leadership Award is given to academic medical centers and their affiliated entities that use advanced analytics and innovative technology to provide “superior clinical outcomes and patient experiences while effectively managing costs” based on the annual Vizient Quality and Accountability Study. Measures include safety, mortality, clinical effectiveness, efficiency, patient centeredness, and equity of care. The award criteria also consider performance in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Core Measures, the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network.
Clinical Innovation Awards
Heart Safe Motherhood
This initiative addresses preeclampsia—a disorder of pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure—the leading cause of maternal illness and death in the United States, and until recently, the primary reason for seven-day readmissions for obstetrics patients at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Historically, post-natal blood pressure monitoring required a one-time, in-person appointment. However, newer professional guidelines published by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended two points of monitoring: the first at 72 hours postpartum and another at seven-to-ten days after discharge. These clinic visits are often difficult for patients to fit into their new schedules, which left many patients without having their blood pressure mentioned.
To address this issue, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine and Penn Medicine Information Services developed Heart Safe Motherhood, a remote, text-based blood pressure monitoring intervention during the first seven days post-discharge. The goal is to detect rising blood pressure at home and intervene, keeping patients out of the hospital.
Over the course of the pilot process, more than 30 patients were discharged with digital blood pressure monitors and sent reminders via text message to check their blood pressure twice daily. After the readings were submitted by the patient, they were reviewed and responded to by a Penn ob/gyn physician. In the pilot test, there were no seven-day readmissions among enrolled patients, compared to a five-percent readmission rate among women monitored through in-person visits. The proportion of patients to report at least one blood pressure reading in the first week post-discharge increased from 15 percent pre-intervention to 84 percent, and the proportion reporting readings on five of seven days in the first week post-discharge increased from zero percent to 69 percent among enrolled patients.
Heart Safe Motherhood is now the standard of care for obstetrics patients at numerous Penn Medicine locations.
Antibiotic stewardship software
Antibiotic-resistant infections have become one of the biggest problems in modern medicine, with almost 700,000 deaths each year from such “superbug” infections. As a result, the United Nations has called for a global commitment to fight antibiotic-resistant infections worldwide.
Tracking antibiotic resistance is challenging given that it can take many months to generate reports. Bringing current data on potential superbugs quickly and directly to prescribers can reduce variations in care, improve outcomes, and limit the spread of antibiotic resistance.
To achieve this goal, Penn Medicine’s Center for Health Care Innovation and Keith W. Hamilton, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine and director of antimicrobial stewardship, in collaboration with software and analytics company, Teqqa, LLC (now under the name ILUM Health Solutions, and owned by Merck HSS[DK1] ), developed a software interface for health care providers to access “antibiogram” data in real-time—this is a compilation of data, generally in the form of a table, summarizing the percentage of individual bacterial pathogens susceptible to different antibiotics. It replaces the historical approach of providing data to clinicians every nine to 12 months, which often made the data often obsolete as soon as they were made available.
The Penn software enables clinicians to monitor the trajectory of infections within individual health care facilities as well as locally, regionally, and by patients’ specific demographics. This allows caregivers to more effectively track, prevent, and treat superbug infections, since a drug that is successful against a life-threatening bacterial infection at one hospital may be less beneficial at another.
Using a protected Twitter-like format, the latest version of the software allows prescribers to communicate with infectious diseases experts to gain guidance on specific patients. The project is part of Penn Medicine’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, which began in 1993.
Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, excellence in patient care, and community service. The organization consists of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Penn’s Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine, founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school.
The Perelman School of Medicine is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $550 million awarded in the 2022 fiscal year. Home to a proud history of “firsts” in medicine, Penn Medicine teams have pioneered discoveries and innovations that have shaped modern medicine, including recent breakthroughs such as CAR T cell therapy for cancer and the mRNA technology used in COVID-19 vaccines.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities stretch from the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania to the New Jersey shore. These include the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Chester County Hospital, Lancaster General Health, Penn Medicine Princeton Health, and Pennsylvania Hospital—the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.
Penn Medicine is an $11.1 billion enterprise powered by more than 49,000 talented faculty and staff.