CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — As part of its Patient-Centered Medical Home strategy, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is partnering with local health care provider groups and hospitals to roll out technology designed to positively impact the quality of patient care once that person leaves the hospital. Holston Medical Group in Kingsport is the first to incorporate Smart Transitions from Performance Clinical Systems in its hospital discharge workflows.

Numerous benefits in patient safety have been achieved since the technology was introduced, including alerting primary care physicians in 18 percent of the cases that a new "high-risk" medication had been prescribed and in 24 percent of the cases that post-hospitalization tests were ordered requiring primary care physician follow up.

"With recent studies showing readmission rates as high as 20 percent within 30 days of leaving the hospital, and with our associated costs for these readmissions being as much as $60 million a year, we believe creating a link between inpatient and outpatient care teams is critical for improving outcomes and satisfaction for our members, as well as for those who pay the bill," said Dr. Robert Mandel, senior vice president of health care services for BlueCross. "We aim to empower all participants in the transition of care workflow with an easily embraced solution that not only supports evidence-based medicine, but makes care related information accessible in a much more timely manner than traditional processes."

Performance Clinical’s Smart Transitions is a "cloud-based" interactive clinical checklist system, accessible anywhere through a secure Internet connection, which provides active guidance for clinicians to consider as they make their patient discharge plans. The system makes those plans instantly available via a computer to primary care physicians for proactive follow up with their patients. All steps are captured electronically in a database for ongoing analysis to support quality and performance improvement goals.

"Creating a strong chain of care communication is vital for delivering the quality of care expected of our physicians," said Dr. Scott Fowler, president of Holston Medical Group. "Typically, the enabling technology for facilitating this communication is met with resistance because of its complexities and disruption to clinical workflows. With Smart Transitions, we found the opposite to be true. Our hospitalists appreciate how easy it is to incorporate into their routine and our primary care physicians are already benefiting from the real-time access to comprehensive transition of care plans."

"We’re delighted that BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee turned to us to help them drive this important component of their Medical Home Initiative,” said Performance Clinical’s co-founder and chairman, Jeremy Nobel, M.D., M.P.H. "Our interactive clinical checklist system provides partnering medical groups, hospitals and primary care teams with the infrastructure for decision support, shared access to patient-specific plans, and performance analytics to drive improvement. This milestone with Holston Medical Group and BlueCross is a great example of a high-impact, yet practical solution that delivers on the promise of better patient care through health information technology.”

About Holston Medical Group

As one of the largest multi-specialty providers within the Southeast, Holston Medical Group’s “Family of Care” consists of more than 800 employees, including 150 physicians and mid-level providers in its provision of 24-hour medical/surgical coverage. Regarded as a national leader in clinical research as well as electronic health record integration and utilization, Holston Medical Group provides convenient locations throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, offering two Urgent Care Clinics (Bristol & Kingsport) and state-of-the-art diagnostic capabilities. On-site ancillary services available include digital x-ray and mammography, CT, MRI, ultrasound and cardiac services. Additionally, HMG provides the patient convenience of on-site laboratory services. For more information, visit the group’s Web site at: www.holstonmedicalgroup.com

About Performance Clinical Systems

Performance Clinical Systems is a healthcare technology company based in San Francisco, California and Boston, Massachusetts. Christopher Johnson, MD, MPH and Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH founded the privately held company in 2004. Its core applications, SmartOrders and SmartTransitions, inject precision and consistency to evidence-based medicine, provide interactive clinical checklists directly at the point of care, and gather essential data for advanced analytics and quality improvement. The company’s solutions are attractive to hospitals and medical groups because they are quickly embraced by clinicians, deployed rapidly (within 90 days) work alongside or as a layer on traditional enterprise HIT systems, and contribute significantly to a provider’s ability to handle shifts in reimbursement and quality measures that put the burden of efficiency on them. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.performanceclinical.com

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.