Pennsylvania Health Group Picks ArborMetrix

ANN ARBOR — The Ann Arbor healthcare analytics developer ArborMetrix Inc. says its RegistryMetrix analytics platform has been selected by the Philadelphia, Pa.-based Health Care Improvement Foundation for evidence-based medicine information gathering for the newly formed Pennsylvania Regional Urology Collaborative.

PURC is sponsored by the Partnership for Patient Care, a multi-year regional improvement initiative funded jointly by Independence Blue Cross and the region’s hospitals and health systems.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer among men in Pennsylvania, and represents a significant health issue. With supplemental funding from Independence Blue Cross, PURC will join urology practices from a five-county southeastern Pennsylvania region in a multi-year data-sharing and improvement collaborative aimed at advancing the quality of diagnosis and care for men with prostate cancer.

Participating in the initiative will be urology practices and departments affiliated with Temple University Hospital; Thomas Jefferson University Hospital; Fox Chase Cancer Center; Einstein Healthcare Network; University of Pennsylvania Health System; and Urology Health Specialists.

Modeled after a similar successful program in Michigan, PURC will be able to benchmark and identify best practices and disseminate that information to its member healthcare providers in the metropolitan Philadelphia area.

“The dynamics of healthcare delivery are evolving and require a much more patient-centered, physician-led effort to improve the care of patients with urological cancers,” said Robert Uzzo, M.D., executive director of PURC and chairman of the department of surgery at the Fox Chase Cancer Center. “This collaborative is an essential step to bring together academic and community urologic leaders who believe that we are stronger when we work together.”

The program will be expanded to additional practices after the first pilot year.

“We are impressed with the results we saw from RegistryMetrix’s analytics,” said Kate J. Flynn, president of HCIF. “With ArborMetrix’s help, participating urologists will have a much broader foundation for making the best clinical decisions in the interests of their patients, improving patient safety, reducing costs and achieving better outcomes. We are excited to be able to improve our clinical processes with the information provided through RegistryMetrix.”

The program’s initial efforts will focus on:
* Optimizing radiographic staging for newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients
* Reducing prostate biopsy-related complications and improving strategies for repeat biopsy
* Improving patient outcomes after radical prostatectomy
* Enhancing patient-centered decision-making among men considering local therapy for early-stage prostate cancer

RegistryMetrix collects data on patient demographics; cancer severity (including pathological details from needle biopsies); utilization and outcomes for radiographic staging studies; co-morbidities; and patterns of care for both local therapies (e.g., radical prostatectomy, radiation therapy) and systemic androgen deprivation therapy.

That information is analyzed to determine the performance of each urology practice in comparison to its peers. PURC will be able to conduct analyses designed to identify specific care components associated with better patient outcomes. Based on these analyses, it will be able to distribute information on best practices to participating providers and the broader healthcare community.

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