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Q&A: Jan Lee, M.D. of Delaware Health Information Network

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During its 10 years of existence, the Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) has expanded to include information about 2.2 million unique patients and more than 14 million deliverers of medical information, reports and results each year. Health professionals and institutions gain quick, secure and accurate information that helps them deliver better care. CEO Jan Lee, M.D., is proud of what DHIN has accomplished and extremely excited about the future.

As DHIN continues to collect information, what more can it do with the data?

It’s going to be about analytics. With all of that data, instead of just looking at one patient at a time, we are in a position to look across populations.

Can you give an example of how that would work?

For instance, we want to be able to look at certain census tracks in Sussex County and find out what percentage of the people have diabetes. Then, we can start assisting the state with analysis.

How can hospitals benefit from this?

We can help them track their re-admission rates. Re-admissions are very costly. In fact, Medicare is denying payment for re-admissions within 30 days of a patient being discharged. We can help hospitals learn what the characteristics are of the group of patients that is getting re-admitted. Is there anything they can understand so it doesn’t happen?

How does it help physicians?

We can tell them, for instance, how many diabetes patients have been getting eye and foot tests and having their A1C levels checked.

How can you help consumers with this analysis?

We want to create a scorecard for the public that can provide actionable information about which hospitals and doctors are doing a good job. It would provide a high value, especially with high-deductible health-care plans. People want to know if they are getting the best value for their dollar.

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