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Life-saving Kaiser Permanente patient alert system garners international award

System arose from researcher’s early work on predictive analytics


The Advance Alert Monitor (AAM), a hospital early warning system built on research led by Kaiser Permanente Division of Research investigator Gabriel Escobar, MD, received international recognition recently with the International Hospital Federation 2021 gold award for patient safety and quality.

Gabriel Escobar, MD, research scientist, Division of Research.

The predictive algorithm underlying the system was developed by Escobar as one of his early projects in pioneering predictive analytics at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Escobar, who is retiring at the end of 2021, discussed the AAM system and his other research work in a recent Research Spotlight Q&A.

The AAM system helps hospital care teams save hundreds of lives each year by predicting which patients are at high risk for clinical deterioration. It relies on a predictive algorithm that scans almost 100 elements from patient health records hourly at 21 hospitals in Northern California, giving clinicians a 12-hour lead time prior to clinical deterioration, permitting early detection and intervention.

Those alerts are monitored and reviewed by a team of specially trained nurses working remotely who contact an on-site response team when needed. That team then partners with patients and families to establish a patient-centered plan of care.

An analysis of the program Escobar published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the system was responsible for saving 520 lives per year over a 3-and-a-half-year study period.

Carrie Owen Plietz, FACHE, president of Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California region, accepted the Gold Winner designation in the Austco Excellence Award for Quality and Patient Safety category at the federation’s 44th World Hospital Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

“I want to recognize the incredible team that brought this vision to action,” said Owen Plietz. “I value their innovation, focus on human-centered design, and their goal of advancing technological integration to elevate quality and safety for those we serve.”


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