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Cerner, Duke Research Develop EHR-Integrated Cardiac Risk App

Duke Clinical Research Institute developed an EHR-integrated cardiac risk app through Cerner’s open source code.

Cerner and Duke Clinical Research Institute developed an EHR-integrated cardiac risk app.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Cerner and Duke Clinical Research Institute collaborated to develop an EHR-integrated atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) Risk Calculator app intended to boost communication between patients and providers to improve health outcomes and quality of life for patients.

The health IT tool allows doctors to advise patients about ways to live a healthier life and identifies risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Cerner and Duke Clinical Research Institute developed the software collaboratively through Cerner’s Open Developer Experience code. The open source code allows health IT innovators to build apps using Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) on Cerner technology.

“This collaboration demonstrates how the health care industry can come together to develop and continually improve an app that has the ability to save lives by the power of SMART on FHIR® open source standards,” said Cerner Vice President and engineer Kevin Shekleton.

“We developed this Risk Calculator for our client hospitals and health systems, but open source lets any health care organization leverage the technology to help people live healthier lives,” Shekleton continued.

Physicians from Duke Clinical Research Institute used Cerner’s code to provide clinical direction for an app that can be integrated into Cerner EHR. Cerner wrote the ASVD Risk Calculator code and will maintain and host the ASCVD Risk Calculator under an open source license.

“We developed the app to be able to pull important patient health data across multiple EHR suppliers at different venues of care in order to get a full picture of how to improve that patient’s health,” said Duke University School of Medicine assistant professor of medicine (cardiology) and member of Duke Clinical Research Institute Ann Marie Navar, MD.

“Cerner’s open platform encourages collaboration, which will help advance the way care is delivered regardless of the specific platform people are using,” Navar continued.

The app allows healthcare providers to estimate ten-year and lifetime ASCVD risk for patients based on data including age, race, sex, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, smoking status, and diabetes status.

Untreated, ASCVD can lead to heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest, and fatal or nonfatal stroke. Shared clinical decision-making between patients and providers can inform treatment decisions based on a patient’s willingness to take steps to maintain or improve their health.

The app is also designed to assess the risk and benefits of potential therapies.

 “Guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association now emphasize using the 10-year calculator to identify adults for statin therapy,” said Columbia University cardiology fellow Pierre Elias, MD.   

“We wanted an app that would make it easier for clinicians to calculate risk at the point of care,” continued Elias. “Whether it’s the primary care clinic or a cardiologist’s office, I can’t tell you the number of times this can get missed when there are so many other problems to manage. Making it faster and easier to get news you can use leads to better patient care.”

Other recent collaborative developments include a partnership between Mayo Clinic and National Decision Support Company (NDSC) that resulted in a new EHR-integrated blood management solution.

The patient blood management tool — CareSelect Blood — helps providers more effectively utilize blood products to improve patient care delivery and reduce healthcare costs.

The solution combines Mayo Clinic’s clinical expertise with NDSC’s EHR-enabled clinical decision support offerings.

Mayo Clinic first implemented a patient blood management program in 2010 at its Rochester campus and has experienced a 35 percent reduction in blood transfusions since the program’s launch.

The health system leveraged several best practices from its patient blood management program to develop the CareSelect Blood solution through Mayo Medical Laboratories.

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