Penn Medicine predictive system increases palliative care consults by 74%

A system powered by predictive analytics of EHR data to determine when a palliative care consultation is most beneficial for a patient resulted in a significant increase in consults, a recent study found.

Researchers from Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine developed Palliative Connect, which uses machine learning to analyze patient data, examining 30 factors that contribute to a seriously ill patient's likely six-month prognosis. The system then suggests a consultation to the patient's physician, who can accept or deny the appointment.

As a result, not only did the number of palliative care consults increase by nearly 75 percent, but they occurred an average of a day and a half sooner. These appointments give seriously ill patients and their families the opportunity to discuss their wishes and priorities, according to senior author Nina O'Connor, MD, chief of palliative care at Penn Medicine, and can thus result in significant improvements in the quality of care.

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