How to improve the operational efficiency of hospitals? Support better diagnostics
SAN DIEGO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / October 19, 2021 / A new tool promises to help physicians make faster and more accurate diagnoses by improving the reports they receive from analytical labs. What is Diagu, and why is it so important to hospitals today?
Maintain standards of care despite unprecedented challenges
As hospitals and other medical facilities continue to grapple with the impact of COVID-19, they face challenges that go beyond periodic shortages of supplies and personnel. Many parts of the world have experienced a sort of progressive triage, with local epidemics filling hospitals beyond capacity for weeks at a time. The pandemic did more than tax our ability to deliver equipment, supplies and personnel when and where they are needed: it undermined the very assumptions on which our medical facilities were planned and built, and under which they had operated.
Hospital administrators reacted with great ingenuity, finding new ways to deal with an unpredictable flow of critically ill patients. Hospital staff, especially frontline medical staff, made heroic sacrifices to meet the challenge. But as the pandemic continues and the possibility of new variants of the novel coronavirus looms, we need to do even more. When every space is put to good use and hospital staff work beyond their limits, operational efficiency can be the key to serving more patients during local outbreaks.
Some of these opportunities are specific to each hospital, and administrators have long taken steps to address them. But others escape at least in part the direct control of hospital administrators. In vitro diagnostic tests, for example, are often performed by third party laboratories. In total, 14 billion diagnostic tests are administered each year in the United States, where they support about 70% of all medical decisions.
No matter how good a relationship a given hospital is with its laboratory partners, and no matter how familiar its medical staff are with the way a given laboratory reports test results, the traditional process of test reporting requires a lot of extra work before test results can be translated into actionable diagnostics.
Enter Diagu: Deeply Improved Test Reports for Better Diagnostic Decisions
Diagu bridges the gap with an AI-powered solution that puts every test result in rich, immediately usable context, without spending more time collecting crucial data. The company’s enhanced reporting solution supports the judgment of medical personnel, enabling physicians to make more accurate diagnoses, faster, and with greater confidence.
The system collects information about each patient’s medical history, known current conditions, medical regimen, and other factors. This information is prepared before test results are available.
As soon as the lab completes a test, Diagu’s solution adds a revolutionary layer of contextual information. Test results are compared against a database of similar test results and a wealth of anonymized data describing pre-existing conditions, diagnoses, treatment protocols and health outcomes of millions of other patients. DICOM files and X-rays also contribute to this rich data pool, which is updated daily thanks to an international network of partners who perform 60 million tests collected each year.
The system then produces a report that clearly describes the current patient’s condition and test results in the immediately usable context of similar cases. Diagu’s Test Results Analyzer presents system results on any computer, tablet or smartphone, through a customizable graphical interface. The analyzer’s powerful visualization tools allow physicians to immediately identify ways in which the results and symptoms of the current patient deviate from the norm, and allow them to trace the historical success of various possible diagnoses over time . For each possible diagnosis, doctors can review the success of various therapies, including the effectiveness of each documented drug regimen over time.
The result is an immediate, actionable presentation of the data physicians have traditionally spent crucial minutes and hours compiling. Diagu does not seek to supplant human judgment. Rather, the company helps doctors, nurses and other hospital staff do what they do best, when every second of their time matters more than ever.
Benefits that last over time
Diagu continues to pay dividends even after patients are diagnosed. For example, quick and accurate diagnoses help limit hospitalization time by supporting the fastest route to positive health outcomes. More accurate diagnosis also promotes the efficient use of hospital resources. The CDC estimates that up to 80,000 deaths per year are directly attributable to preventable misdiagnosis. This figure represents an extreme result and only indicates the time, money and resources spent on unnecessary treatment guided by misdiagnoses that could have been avoided with easier access to more information.
When these diagnostic errors are discovered, hospitals face a range of challenges that have nothing to do directly with providing patient care. Insurance companies may seek to withhold payment, and lawsuits are a sad reality for hospitals today. These factors are not going to change anytime soon, as we all would like. But Diagu can help hospitals document an effective response to legal and insurance questions by demonstrating that diagnostic physicians consulted all possible sources of information before reaching their conclusions.
An idea whose time has come
AI and machine learning have entered the medical mainstream. Chatbots can now handle routine physician inquiries and route cases to the appropriate specialists; Predictive analytics facilitates everything from public health initiatives to personal health monitoring. AI research and consultancy firm Emerj predicts that AI can save the U.S. healthcare economy $ 150 billion by 2026.
Diagu extends the promise of machine learning to the very heart of medical practice. In vitro diagnostic tests represent $ 85 billion in business in the United States alone. The hospitals and clinics that drive this market must derive every ounce of value from such a large investment. Diagu helps them do just that.
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THE SOURCE: Diagu
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