2016

Stories related to "Healthcare". http://www.chicagobooth.edu/magazine/winter-2016/rss

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Lab Results

Marcia Kraniak—79 years old, from the South Side of Chicago—went home from the hospital eight weeks ago. She had been admitted to the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCM) with congestive heart failure and spent three days there. Fluid had built up in her body, and her heart was too weak to pump enough blood. She couldn’t move around easily. Two months after leaving the hospital, however, she’s doing well on her new regimen at home. Shortly after Kraniak arrived in the UCM emergency department, hospital staff identified that her medical condition, her home life, and her mental state made it less than likely that she would get well after she went home. A new admissions algorithm predicted she might have to come back to the hospital soon. So the cardiology and nursing teams at UCM applied a special new protocol on her behalf. They gave Kraniak (a patient invented for this article) a detailed plan to take care of herself—including instructions to eat better, lay off the salt, and try to take a short walk every day—and simplified her medications to help her stay on her regimen and get well more quickly. In the past, hospitals didn’t closely monitor whether patients had to be readmitted shortly after an original hospital visit. If patients returned with the same health issues, they got patched up again, the hospital got paid again, and nobody tracked how many patients made this boomerang trajectory.

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Data and Healthcare Diagnostics

Nearly a year before his spring 2015 course began, professor Dan Adelman queried medical directors at Chicago-area hospitals to put forward their most pressing, most intractable issues—real-world problems for his MBA student teams to solve. These four challenges, from three institutions sharing unprecedented access to their data (normally a top-secret strategic asset), formed the foundation of last year’s Healthcare Analytics Laboratory: University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) wanted to evaluate a brand-new intervention—then in practice for only a few months—designed to reduce heart-failure readmissions within 30 days. Were patients leaving the hospital healthier? Was it saving money? And if it was working, could it be expanded across the hospital? UCM also sought to optimize the case mix in its vascular-surgery practice. What kinds of procedures should be their focus and specializations? How should the doctors grow their practices? What skill sets should they invest in or hire for?