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Pharos Innovations Meets Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov once remarked that a sufficiently advanced technology was indistinguishable from magic.

Were he alive today, Mr. Asimov might also remark that both advanced technology and magic got nothing on Pharos Innovations, whose website reports a world-record 79% reduction in admissions for congestive heart failure (CHF) patient monitoring.

Pharos achieved this Nobel Prize-worthy result in CHF monitoring without actually using CHF monitoring devices, but rather just the telephone and that favorite tool of the frail elderly, the Internet. Most magical was the time this admission reduction took: 31 days.

On the graph below, you can see that the baseline ended December 31, 2007, while the full impact started February 1, 2008.

That means Pharos was magically able to find all these members’ contact information, write to them to announce the program, schedule the phone calls to the members to convince them to join the program, collect their information, conduct those phone calls, explain the system to the members, get them set up on the system, collect the information, get members to visit their doctors, and adjust lifestyles and medications…all during January.

Thanks to that lightning speed, there was literally a 90% decline between the December admissions rate and the February admissions rate, as this chart demonstrates.  Overall, this chart is a dramatic rebuttal to the conventional wisdom, which would state that:

  1. it takes a long time to make even the most minor improvements in a population through telephonic and Internet disease management, if indeed improvements are possible at all; and

  2. a trendline that is “unchanged” does not decline 25% like Pharos “unchanged” matched cohort trendline above.

In college Al was assigned a roommate who was like the bad seed from the Richie Rich comics, a kid who, among other things, would have a snifter of cognac before bed.  Once Al told this guy he was decadent.  “Decadent, Al?” he countered.   “Let me tell you about decadent.  I spent last summer at a summer camp –everyone was there, Caroline Kennedy, everyone – where we played tennis on the Riviera and then went skiing in the Alps.”

Al agreed he had a point.  “Wow, Lance, you’re right.  That was decadent.”

“Al,” he replied, “I haven’t even gotten to the decadent part yet.”

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