Articles Archives – PCCI

27 June 2022

VIDEO: PCCI Celebrates the reopening of its office




PCCI is one of the best places to work in North Texas and recently its team celebrated the reopening of it office after more than two years of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of our culture of collaboration, the team of data science and clinical experts excelled working remotely, but this gathering was a great opportunity to meet in person, and for some, to meet for the first time. Going forward, PCCI will operate in a hybrid manner with its office serving as a resource and home-base for its team.

Have a look at the video of the office reopening here: PCCI Culture – Office Reopening

21 June 2022

ECRI Podcast: Fighting Healthcare Disparities l Equitable and Accessible Healthcare for All




This podcast episode is part of a series regarding the ECRI and the ISMP Patient Safety Organization’s (PSO) annual Deep Dive report.

The 2021 Deep Dive report focuses on issues of racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare. Research has repeatedly confirmed that members of racial and ethnic minority groups are more likely to experience disparities in care, including having an increased risk of being uninsured or underinsured, lacking access to care, and experiencing worse health outcomes for treatable and preventable conditions.

In this episode, our guests discuss their data-driven approach to identify and combat disparities and realize their vision of creating a Dallas County with equitable, accessible healthcare for all. Our first guest, Brett Moran, MD, is from Parkland Health & Hospital System, one of the country’s largest and most progressive safety-net hospitals. Our second guest, Steve Miff, PhD, is from Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation, a leading, non-profit, data science, artificial intelligence and innovation organization affiliated with Parkland Health & Hospital System.

Visit ECRI and the ISMP PSO to learn more or to request a demo. Download the executive brief of ECRI and the ISMP PSO’s Deep Dive, Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health and Healthcare today.

Click this link to listen to this important podcast:

https://smart-healthcare-safety.ecri.org/public/58/Smart-Healthcare-Safety-from-ECRI-af7a948d/c7f33164

5 April 2022

PCCI’s Cutting Edge Technology




 

11 March 2022

HealthLeaders Podcast: PCCI’s Steve Miff – ACCESS TO CARE MAKES NO SENSE




Listen to PCCI’s CEO Steve Miff on the latest episode of HealthLeaders Exchange’ podcast “Healthcare Makes No Sense.” The podcast description:

If patient care stops when they leave the hospital, can healthcare truly provide access to care for patients where they are?
It makes no sense!

At least not to us anyway…
Steve Miff, President & CEO of PCCI, has been the humble superstar of Dallas’ underserved communities and his passion is apparent. He understands the power of using data analytics to identify social determinants, while also connecting communities to provide swift access to care for those who need it the most.

Perhaps with his drive and knowledge we can #makeitmakesense

Come and join our conversation!
Apple Podcasts: https://lnkd.in/dtV52kwg
Spotify: https://lnkd.in/d3kai3Hr
Google Podcasts: https://lnkd.in/dbvskzmu
Amazon Music: https://lnkd.in/dPumR8K5

31 January 2022

“BUILDING CONNECTED COMMUNITIES OF CARE” BOOK EXCERPT CASE STUDY – Building CBO Partnerships




Following is an excerpt from PCCI’s book, “Building Connected Communities of Care: The Playbook For Streamlining Effective Coordination Between Medical And Community-Based Organizations.” This is a practical how-to guide for clinical, community, and government, population health leaders interested in building connected clinical-community (CCC) services.

This section is from Chapter 7, “Community Partners Track.” The Community Partners Track provides the requirements for the workflows and the tools needed for Community-Based Social Service Organizations aka Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) to achieve the goals of the Connected Communities of Care (CCC).

PCCI offers readiness assessments as a service for those organizations interested in building an SDOH-based CCC. Go here for more information: https://pccinnovation.org/connected-communities-of-care/.

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Case Study: Building CBO Partnerships

A cornerstone of the CCC is the CBO. The community food pantries, homeless shelters, crisis centers, and transportation service providers are the lifeline for many vulnerable and underserved community residents. In addition to providing essential services, these organizations help the individuals cope with the challenges of daily life. For far too long, these organizations were excluded from the clinical care plan process for a host of reasons. Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) (the initial philanthropic funder of the Dallas Information Exchange Portal [IEP]) and PCCI recognized the vital role these entities play in the health and well-being of the individuals seeking care at Parkland.

As part of the design of the Dallas IEP, PCCI began an ongoing effort to establish meaningful partnerships with local CBOs to foster their involvement in (and support of) the Dallas IEP, through linkages to each other and to Parkland. PCCI recognized early on that given the large geography covered by Dallas County, more than a couple CBOs would be needed to make the IEP robust and meaningful. In the past, efforts to engage CBOs typically involved recruitment at the individual CBO level, something that in the case of the IEP would likely prove problematic given the number needed. Instead, the PCCI team, with support from CFT, proposed a new approach of engaging the major
Sponsors of the CBOs, which in this case included the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB), which worked with many local food pantries, and the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance (MDHA), a large umbrella organization coordinating services for dozens of smaller homeless shelters. By working directly with these umbrella organizations, PCCI only needed to execute two contracts rather than multiple contracts with the individual CBOs. The NTFB and the MDHA were then responsible for recruiting their members in sufficient numbers to increase the IEP’s scale.

While this approach proved successful, it did not remove the need for PCCI to “make the case” for the IEP with the NTFB and the MDHA. In addition to explaining how this program would involve NTFB’s food pantries and MDHA’s homeless shelters, it was imperative to make the business case for their involvement—how will this work benefit them and their members and what will be needed from the membership. In addition to helping improve the health and well-being of community residents, we found the following to be key incentives for CBO participation: (1) ability to provide funding to support the IEP or its usage, (2) enhanced reporting and analytic capability— either through the technology platform software itself or through PCCI analytical staff, (3) opportunity to participate in future research projects that would bring visibility to other sources of funding, and (4) greater operational efficiency.

Once the list of participating CBOs was shared with PCCI, the team installed the software at the participating sites, trained CBO staff, and communicated expectations and next steps. This process proved to be one of the critical success factors behind the initiative. CBO staff members that reported training as helpful and beneficial were more likely to use the IEP than those for whom training was deemed less helpful. Feedback from those receiving training suggested that two shorter training sessions (each 1.5 hours) and involving hands on practice exercises was far more helpful than one longer training session (3 hours). When PCCI staff members (1) set clear expectations of what was expected of the CBO and how the IEP was to be used and (2) reinforced that
Community Partners Track message through follow-up question and answer sessions and individual consultations, CBO use of the IEP (as it was intended to be used) was materially higher than where less emphasis was placed on expectations.

With the software installed and training completed, PCCI implemented several short pilot test periods to ensure that the technology was performing as expected and that the CBO staff felt comfortable in using it. These short pilot test periods, lasting from 2 to 4 weeks, were critical in a successful launch of the broader IEP implementation. As anticipated, the pilot work uncovered some software issues that needed to be addressed to ensure optimal use by the CBOs. The work also revealed some modifications to the CBO and clinical/CBO workflows that needed to be made. It is important to note that
all pilot testing was done without involving any patients or residents in the testing phase.

While the preparatory work helped to ensure a successful launch of the IEP both with Parkland and the participating CBOs (whose numbers grew appreciably after the launch due to continued recruitment into the network), we found that additional steps were needed to ensure ongoing success. Much like processes that are measured regularly as part of an improvement campaign and then ended abruptly when the campaign ends, we found that to optimize the effectiveness of the IEP and maintain its momentum, we needed to institute a continuous monitoring process with both the CBOs and Parkland. This ongoing involvement with the IEP Participants proved to be a greater time commitment than we had originally foreseen. While the frequency of challenges declined with the length of time since launch, we continually uncovered new issues or new opportunities to strengthen the initiative. This was especially true for the CBOs, where most staff members include volunteers and the turnover rate is quite high. Because of this, we employed a train the-trainer model, which proved largely effective. Again, most CBOs have a very small staff. Thus, the departure of a manager or experienced frontline worker often proved a major disruption to the use of the IEP. Constant contact with the CBOs (even when the number of CBO Participants approached 100) helped ensure that any challenges could be addressed as quickly and effectively as possible.

The key takeaway from the past five years of working with the CBO community in Dallas is that relationships matter, and that these relationships need constant, open and honest, two-way communication and nurturing to bring about success. We believe that these lessons apply far beyond this initiative.

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Authors:

Steve Miff, CEO and President of PCCI

Keith Kosel, Executive Advisor for PCCI

12 January 2022

PCCI Announces New Hire, Executive Promotions, Strengthening Its Team of Healthcare, Technology Experts




Dallas, Texas – Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI), which improves healthcare for vulnerable populations using advanced data science and clinical experts, announced the hiring of Natasha Goburdhun, MS, MPH, as Vice President, Connected Communities of Care, and the promotions of Yolande Pengetnze​, MD, MS, FAAP, to Vice President, Clinical Leadership, and Albert Karam, MS, MBA, to Vice President, Data Strategy Analytics​.

These executive leaders will boost PCCI’s innovative clinical and data analytics programs that have made a significant impact, including helping North Texas navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Natasha Goburdhun

As Vice President, Connected Communities of Care, Goburdhun uses PCCI’s advanced analytics to provide detailed insights on community health and social needs and assists community organizations, payers and providers in developing strategies and impact/equity measures that address the needs of vulnerable populations. She brings over 20 years of strategic planning and operations experience in health plan, provider and community-based organization sectors to PCCI.

Goburdhun was most recently the Vice President of Business Development & Operations at YMCA of the USA. Prior to that, she held senior leadership roles at Aetna Accountable Care Solutions and the American Hospital Association and served in consulting roles at Sg2 and Navigant.

She holds an MPH in Health Management from Yale University, an MS in Neurobiology from Northwestern University and a BS in Neurobiology from the University of Michigan.

“Natasha brings an amazing set of skills matched with experience and passion to help the underserved in our communities,” said Steve Miff, CEO and President of PCCI. “She is a true expert at the practical implementation of social determinants of health (SDOH) principles that will benefit all of the programs she supports. Natasha is a true trailblazer and we are eager to see where she leads PCCI’s SDOH efforts.”

Dr. Yolande Pengetnze

Dr. Pengetnze, as Vice President, Clinical Leadership, leads multiple projects at PCCI, including a population health quality improvement project on pediatric asthma and the development of a program supporting the prevention of pre-term births. She joined PCCI in December 2013 as a Physician Scientist while remaining a Clinical Faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW). Her interests include the use of advanced predictive analytics integrating traditional data sources and novel “Big data” sources to improve health outcomes at the individual and population level.

Dr. Pengetnze, received her MD in 1998 from the University of Yaounde in Cameroon and completed a Pediatric Residency training in 2008 at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City. She joined the General Pediatric Hospitalist Division of UTSW as a faculty in 2008. She completed a General Pediatric/Health Services Research Fellowship training and a Master of Sciences in Clinical Sciences at UTSW in 2013.

“Yolande has contributed heavily to PCCI’s success and is an important leader advocating for mothers and children,” said Miff. “Her passion for helping children has resulted in a number of successful partnerships with Parkland Health (Parkland) and the Parkland Community Health Plan (PCHP). This includes preterm birth prevention and pediatric asthma care programs. She recently joined other Parkland leaders to raise awareness of the harm COVID-19 can have on unvaccinated children with asthma, an important action with direct impact on the health of children in our region.”

Albert Karam

Albert Karam, as Vice President, Data Strategy Analytics, focuses on data science platforms, infrastructure and innovative patient care solutions. He is responsible for creating predictive algorithms and real-time decision support to Parkland and other institutions across the Dallas/Fort Worth Area.

Karam has been with PCCI since 2016 and has researched, identified, managed, modeled and deployed several predictive models for Parkland and PCHP. He has also managed elements of PCCI’s data analytics teams that supported the Dallas County Health and Human Services  (DCHHS) efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Karam’s extensive experience offers a diverse understanding of modeling workflows and implementation of real-time models.

Albert obtained an MS in Mathematics from The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) in 2015, and in 2020, he earned a duel degree MBA and MS in Data Analytics from UTD with a focus in Healthcare Administration.

“Albert and the team he leads at PCCI are the unsung analytics heroes of the Dallas healthcare community,” Miff said. “The impact of Albert’s work can be felt all through our community, as his predictive modeling plays a pivotal role in many programs at Parkland and DCHHS. He brings an exceptional set of standards to his work and is committed to using technology to create better clinical outcomes.”

About Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation

Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI), founded in 2012, is celebrating a decade as an independent, not-for-profit, healthcare intelligence organization. Affiliated with Parkland Health, PCCI leverages clinical expertise, data science and social determinants of health to address the needs of vulnerable populations.

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15 December 2021

Steve Miff Named Among Dallas 500 Honorees




We are thrilled to announce that PCCI’s CEO, Steve Miff, has been named to the Dallas 500 list for the second year running! Announced by DCEO Magazine, the Dallas500 recognizes influential leaders in North Texas across a variety of industries. Congratulations to Steve Miff for the well-deserved recognition!

https://www.dmagazine.com/sponsored/2021/12/steve-miff-named-among-dallas-500-honorees/

9 December 2021

PCCI Annual Impact Report




PCCI has released it’s Annual Impact Report. This report, which is available for free download, outlines PCCI’s efforts over the past year to help support those most in need in our communities.

The report includes PCCI’s efforts to fight COVID-19 in Dallas, partnering with Dallas County, Parkland Hospital and other community partners to develop analytics showing community vulnerabilities that helped guide testing, vaccinations, herd immunity (https://lnkd.in/dNUutqnu) and the changing needs of Dallas County.

The report also provides insights into other programs PCCI’s innovations contributed to, including, pediatric asthma mitigation, preterm birth prevention and much more.

Click here to read the PCCI 2021 Annual Impact Report.

Click here to download the PCCI 2021 Annual Impact Report PCCI-AIR-2021_Final-SPREAD.

Following is a video from PCCI Steve Miff on the organization’s past year:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hx60eCgB9Eg

20 October 2021

Parkland program helps pediatric patients with asthma management




Asthma a top cause of sickness in Dallas County children

DALLAS – It’s difficult to keep Sir Moreland of Mesquite indoors. Like most 12-year-old boys, Sir loves spending time outside with his brother and friends. Playing baseball and basketball is his favorite thing to do but right now his focus is flag football.

“This is the first time I’ll be playing for a team,” said Sir. “I’m scared, nervous and excited.”

Playing sports was not always easy for Sir. At age 5 after running outside with friends, Sir began struggling to breathe and was rushed to the Emergency Department at Children’s Hospital. His mother Sheniqua Turner, 36, had no idea the symptoms her son was experiencing at that moment were due to an asthma attack. He was hospitalized for three days.

“I knew of some kids who had asthma, but I’d never seen an asthma attack firsthand,” said Turner. “I didn’t know what was going on. I was really nervous and didn’t know what to do.”

According to physicians at Parkland Health & Hospital System, asthma symptoms vary from person to person. The most common include shortness of breath, chest tightness or pain, coughing or wheezing and episodes that worsen with respiratory viruses like the flu. These symptoms tend to appear when exposed to triggers like pet dander, dust, pollen, air pollutant, mold or even cold air.  For some, the symptoms might not necessarily be conspicuous, such as a mild, prolonged cough.

After her son’s discharge from the hospital Turner immediately followed up with Sir’s pediatrician at Parkland who educated the worried mother about asthma and potential treatments. She left with a personalized action plan to help manage Sir’s asthma.

“I had to learn all his triggers,” said Turner. “I think that’s the reason he hasn’t had an asthma attack since. He’s doing really good now.”

About 6 million children in the U.S. ages 0-17 years have asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 2019 Dallas County Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) identified asthma as a leading chronic disease among children, particularly in children residing in ZIP codes located in the southeast of Dallas County. Parkland providers have launched a new program to educate parents and other caregivers and stress the importance of having a personalized action plan to help manage the disease.

“It’s a significant problem. Children would visit their nurse at school because they didn’t have their asthma under control,” said Cesar Termulo, MD, Associate Medical Director at Parkland’s Hatcher Station Community Oriented Primary Care health center. “At times their case would be too severe, and they would need to be taken to the hospital. The majority of these children were not being seen by a primary care doctor to help manage their asthma.”

To help families dealing with the condition, six ZIP codes in Dallas County (75210, 75211, 75215, 75216, 75217 and 75241) were identified to target with interventions to improve children’s asthma control through Breath for Life & Learn for Life, a collaborative effort between Parkland and multiple organizations to address asthma in the community.

Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI) instituted an educational text messaging program that focuses on upstream interventions to engage and improve patient care in identified ZIP codes such as patient symptom and medication adherence monitoring. The text messaging program allows for two-way communication. For example, the parent may receive a text message asking, “How is your child’s asthma today?” If the response is the child is experiencing some difficulties, PCCI will notify their provider who may recommend the parent to seek care. The data-driven model assists with care prioritization by referring patients to their primary care physician for asthma management when indicated. If they do not have a primary care physician, they are referred to Parkland to establish a medical home for primary care to include asthma medical management.

PCCI’s asthma risk-prediction model remotely monitors background electronic data of high-risk asthma children.  These children may be referred to their primary care physician.  If the physician requires additional information, the child can be referred to Dallas County Health & Human Services (DCHHS) for a home visit.  DCHHS reaches out virtually to assess their current asthma status and identify environmental factors at home.   Based on their findings, DCHHS community health workers recommend changes to the home environment to reduce exposure to asthma triggers.

“The pediatric asthma model retains a good prediction ability and provides additional clinical insights not previously available using claims data only,” said Aida Somun, PMP, MBA, Chief Operations Officer at PCCI. “With the addition of electronic health records data, our asthma model can be used for all children irrespective of insurance status, thus expanding the benefits of our program to more vulnerable children with asthma.”

Positive Breathing, an organization with a mobile bus that has been outfitted to perform advanced asthma spirometry screening, will also provide outreach into the hard-to-reach sectors of the community and refer patients who are symptomatic.

There are plans for Dallas Independent School District to also refer students with asthma who do not currently have a primary care physician.

“The goal is to reduce avoidable asthma-related visits to the ED and hospitalizations through community outreach,” Dr. Termulo said. “We can make a huge difference.”

Sir says he feels “really good” now that he has his asthma under control. “I don’t have to worry much about it anymore. I can run as fast as I can.”

“Asthma is a real monster, but it’s possible to overcome it. It’s all about educating yourself,” said Turner.

If you live in one of the targeted zip codes and would like to enroll in the asthma text messaging program, please text @asthma to 844-721-0839. For Spanish, please text @asma1 to 844-721-0839.To find out about services at Parkland, go to www.parklandhospital.com. For more information about the 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment go to www.parklandhospital.com/chna .

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13 September 2021

PCCI Publishing: New England Journal of Medicine – Examining PCCI’s approach to determining COVID-19 herd immunity in Dallas County




The New England Journal of Medicine/Catalyst published an article authored by members of PCCI, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the  Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center that examines PCCI’s approach to determining COVID-19 herd immunity in Dallas County.

The article, “Rethinking Herd Immunity: Managing the Covid-19 Pandemic in a Dynamic Biological and Behavioral Environment,” was published under its “Innovations Care Delivery” section. The authors of the article share how a detailed understanding of local pandemic conditions is necessary to create focused, tailored responses. While achieving high levels of vaccination is important, exclusive focus on national vaccine targets de-emphasizes the complexities of Covid-19 population immunity. Herd immunity is dynamic and depends on the transmissibility of each new Covid-19 strain, the effectiveness of previous immunity due to previous infection and vaccination against these strains, and human behavior in local communities.

The authors developed a potential framework for enumerating and estimating community-wide immunity to Covid-19 with use of data reportable to local county public health authorities. Using data from Dallas County, Texas, they describe the interplay of vaccines and infection in terms of Covid-19 population immunity, the effect of variants on the ever-changing threshold for herd immunity, and how better access, algorithms, and use of real-time local immunity data could lead to more effective local population protection.

To view the article click here:

https://catalyst.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/CAT.21.0288

Or to view it as a PDF, click here.

https://catalyst.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/CAT.21.0288

 

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