Using a claims data-based sentinel system to improve compliance with clinical guidelines: Results of a randomized prospective study

Jonathan C. Javitt, Gregory Steinberg, Todd Locke, James B. Couch, Jeffrey Jacques, Iver Juster, Lonny Reisman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To demonstrate the potential effect of deploying a sentinel system that scans administrative claims information and clinical data to detect and mitigate errors in care and deviations from best medical practices. Methods: Members (n = 39 462; age range, 12-64 years) of a midwestern managed care plan were randomly assigned to an intervention or a control group. The sentinel system was programmed with more than 1000 decision rules that were capable of generating clinical recommendations. Clinical recommendations triggered for subjects in the intervention group were relayed to treating physicians, and those for the control group were deferred to study end. Results: Nine hundred eight clinical recommendations were issued to the intervention group. Among those in both groups who triggered recommendations, there were 19% fewer hospital admissions in the intervention group compared with the control group (P <.001). Charges among those whose recommendations were communicated were $77.91 per member per month (pmpm) lower and paid claims were $68.08 pmpm lower than among controls compared with the baseline values (P = .003 for both). Paid claims for the entire intervention group (with or without recommendations) were $8.07 pmpm lower than those for the entire control group. In contrast, the intervention cost $1.00 pmpm, suggesting an 8-fold return on investment. Conclusion: Ongoing use of a sentinel system to prompt clinically actionable, patient-specific alerts generated from administratively derived clinical data was associated with a reduction in hospitalization, medical costs, and morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-102
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
Volume11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)

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    Javitt, J. C., Steinberg, G., Locke, T., Couch, J. B., Jacques, J., Juster, I., & Reisman, L. (2005). Using a claims data-based sentinel system to improve compliance with clinical guidelines: Results of a randomized prospective study. American Journal of Managed Care, 11(2), 93-102.