Digital Transformation



Frederick Health’s journey through technology and compassion

Innovative health informatics and genomic medicine drive the care delivery organization towards a patient-centric future.

The conversation begins with a reflection on the undying passion for medicine, exemplified by an 82-year-old surgeon who, despite his age, remains fervently attached to the practice of medicine. "It was just evident, his so fervent about medicine...he stated how he was going through training and beyond, and it almost pained him to go on vacation," reflects Kristin Conley, CMIO of Frederick Health.

This anecdote provides a stark contrast to the current state of the medical profession, where the balance between professional dedication and personal life has shifted significantly. It underscores a fundamental challenge – reigniting the fervor for medicine among healthcare providers in an era marked by burnout and shifting priorities.

Transformation of patient, care team engagement

At the heart of Frederick Health's strategy is a commitment to leveraging digital technology to enhance patient engagement. By leveraging MEDITECH Expanse’s patient portal, the institution aims to empower patients, placing them at the driver's seat of their care journey. Dr. Conley highlights the transformative impact of implementing MEDITECH Expanse and patient portals, emphasizing the empowerment of patients as active participants in their care.

"The patients have also grown in that environment of digital technology...all of that engagement is going to help them move forward and make them somewhat empowered," she notes.

The battle against clinician burnout is fought on the front lines of technology. Frederick Health's adoption of AI-driven solutions like the Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX) exemplifies a proactive approach to alleviating the administrative burdens that plague healthcare providers. By streamlining documentation and enabling more natural patient-provider interactions, technology serves as a crucial ally in restoring work-life balance and finding joy in patient care.

Embracing genomics for personalized medicine

Frederick Health's venture into genomics represents a leap toward the realization of personalized medicine. By integrating genomic data into clinical workflows, the health system is personalizing treatment plans to the genetic makeup of each patient, especially in oncology. This initiative extends beyond cancer care into pharmacogenomics, where insights into a patient's genetic profile inform medication choices, enhancing efficacy and minimizing adverse effects.

The ambitious genomics program at Frederick Health is not just a testament to the institution's innovative spirit; it's a reflection of the tangible benefits of personalized medicine. From tailoring oncology treatments based on genetic markers to adjusting medication plans to fit a patient’s unique genetic profile, genomics is at the heart of patient-centered care.

Dr. Conley notes that MEDITECH's involvement has been crucial, offering an enhanced EHR system that integrates genomic information seamlessly into clinical decision-making processes. This integration ensures that critical genetic insights are readily accessible to clinicians at the point of care, empowering them to make informed, precise, and timely medical decisions.

Addressing social determinants

Understanding and addressing the social determinants of health is central to Frederick Health's mission to deliver comprehensive, equitable care. Dr. Conley articulates the institution's efforts to identify and address SDOH, from identifying factors such as access to transportation, secure housing and nutritious food,

Frederick Health is taking significant strides toward minimizing health disparities within their community. This approach recognizes that health outcomes are intricately linked to social and environmental conditions, making SDOH an essential component of patient care.

Systematic screening for SDOH, facilitating the integration of this vital information into patient records enables a more holistic understanding of a patient's circumstances, guiding interventions that address the broader context of their health needs. By leveraging technology to incorporate SDOH into the fabric of patient care, Frederick Health executives believe that it is not just treating illnesses; it's nurturing well-being.

Leveraging data for impactful outcomes

In the data-driven world of modern healthcare, analytics and dashboards are invaluable tools for making informed decisions. Frederick Health's adoption of advanced analytics and comprehensive dashboards exemplifies how data can drive strategic initiatives, monitor program growth and enhance patient outreach.

"Dashboards are a great way that we can use clinical analytics to get that genetic data not just the gene results but also things like how our program is growing," she observes, illustrating the critical role of data in shaping the future of healthcare delivery. These tools provide a real-time overview of various metrics, from patient demographics to program efficacy, enabling the institution to adapt its strategies to meet evolving healthcare needs.

Facilitating this data-centric approach is indispensable. By providing a robust platform for analytics and dashboarding, Frederick Health is working with its partners to harness the full potential of their data. This collaboration between healthcare and technology is creating a feedback loop of continuous improvement, where data not only informs current practices but also shapes future directions.

Empowering patients and providers

Success stories from Frederick Health, particularly in the realm of genomics, highlight the transformative power of technology in healthcare. These stories not only demonstrate the direct impact of technological advancements on patient outcomes but also illustrate the broader potential for technology to empower both patients and providers, enabling a more engaged, informed and proactive approach to healthcare.

As Frederick Health navigates the complexities of the modern healthcare landscape, its journey offers valuable insights into the role of technology in shaping the future of medicine. From rekindling the passion for healthcare among providers to leveraging genomics for personalized treatment, the institution's forward-thinking approach serves as a beacon for others in the industry. The integration of technology, from AI to EMRs, shines a light on the potential for innovation to transform patient care, provider experience and overall health outcomes.

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