Three big winners of the “Ensuring Safe Transitions” Challenge

Health 2.0 has been running Developer Challenges for the ONC since April. Challenges involve building applications for particular purposes such as this one about ensuring safe transitions. They’re getting very popular (this one had more than 30 entries) and we’re going to be announcing several more winners soon for other challenges. You can also hear more about this on the Health 2.0 Show happening at 11 PT or 2pm ET today! Matthew Holt

At the CMS QualityNet Conference yesterday, National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari announced the three winners of the “Ensuring Safe Transitions from Hospital to Home” innovation challenge: Axial Exchange, iBlueButton, and VoIDSPAN. Congratulations to the winning teams!

The public challenge launched in September of 2011 in conjunction with Partnership for Patients and under the auspices of the ONC’s Investing in Innovation (i2) program. The Challenge asked developers to create solutions that improve patient safety and facilitate care transitions for patients discharged from hospitals to other care settings (including but not limited to homes, nursing homes and hospices). Statistically, nearly one in five patients discharged from a hospital is readmitted within 30 days. Many of the readmissions can be prevented by simple improvements in communication and coordination from the point of care delivery through and past discharge.

Research has shown that empowering patients and caregivers to confidently manage the next steps in their care can significantly reduce errors and complications and make readmissions preventable. In addition to incorporating other data sources and available services, solutions were expected to make use of the discharge checklist made available by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (which can be found at www.Medicare.gov/publications/pubs/pdf/11376.pdf).

The winners – from first to third place – were Axial Exchange, iBlueButton and VoIDSPAN. The teams were awarded prizes of $25,000, $10,000, and $5,000, respectively. The following are brief summaries of the winning applications:

The Axial Care Transition Suite, the first place winner – submitted by Matt Mattox and Joanne Rohde of Axial Exchange – is a web-based application that enables information to flow to a patient’s next care setting so that providers have what they need, when they need it, and to engage patients with the information and tools needed to improve their health knowledge and enhance their ownership of after-care responsibilities. It bridges care-transition gaps across the entire care delivery chain, from first-responders and hospitals on through to providers and patients at the time of discharge.

The iBlueButton application, the second place winner – submitted by Bettina Experton, Chris Burrow, Randy Ullrich, Philippe Faurie, and Nina Hein of Humetrix – provides patients, caregivers and providers with immediate access to critical personal health information at home and at the point of care. It includes intuitive mobile apps (for patient mobile phones and provider tablet computers) that offer automated and secure access, anywhere and anytime, to online health records, D/C instructions, additional resources and autodownload of Blue Button records; it also allows patients to easily “push” records from their device to their provider’s tablet or computer.

VoIDSPAN, the third place winner – submitted by Andreas Kogelnik and Kenneth Ng of Flexis – integrates voice, SMS, and web technologies into a mobile application designed to help target patients with a high risk of relapse and engage them in their care together with providers, case managers, and caretakers. VoIDSPAN uses structured inpatient and outpatient data and data from local EMRs and health information exchanges, and integrates with other available community resources.

For additional details on the “Ensuring Safe Transitions from Hospital to Home” Challenge, visit www.Challenge.gov/ONC/238 and www.health2challenge.org/care-transitions. Again, congratulations to the winners and many thanks to all participating teams for their hard work and effort.

Wil Yu is the Special Assistant for Innovations in the Office of the Chief Scientist at ONC

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