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Mercy partners with Johnson & Johnson

Investing $383mn in 2017 to support the local community Mercy Health has sought to provide high quality services, serving over 250,000 people with over 244 programmes.

The largest non-profit healthcare system in Ohio, the organisation has established a data platform that uses real-world clinical data to evaluate medical device performance. Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies (JJMDC) has announced that it has entered a research collaboration with Mercy to utilise this platform.

Mercy includes more than 40 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopaedic and rehab) hospitals, 800 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 44,000 co-workers and 2,100 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

“We began this project to make sure the devices Mercy uses work for patients,” said Dr Joseph Drozda, Mercy’s director of outcomes research and pioneer in using unique device identifiers for tracking implanted medical devices (e.g., coronary stents, pacemakers, etc.)

“With more than 8,000 new medical devices entering the market each year, it’s critical that we find better ways to evaluate their performance.”

JJMDC will utilise Mercy’s data infrastructure to inform and improve regulatory decision making and health outcomes for medical devices.

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The JJMDC and Mercy collaboration comes just months after another device manufacturer announced a similar data partnership with Mercy. Dr Drozda believes this type of exchange is catching on because the Food and Drug Administration is encouraging the use of real-world data to evaluate medical devices.  

“Not only does Mercy have diverse data, we have the data platform, quality, scale and sophisticated data scientists to turn this data into meaningful information. That’s critical where patient outcomes are concerned,” he adds. 

Since Mercy installed its Epic EHR more than a decade ago, Mercy’s IT backbone and recognised analytics leader Mercy Technology Services has been building it out. An early adopter of Epic’s EHR, Mercy became the nation’s first to be accredited by Epic to offer EHR solutions to other hospitals, including Epic in the cloud, implementation and optimisation.

EPIC enables coordinated patient care and up-to-date information-sharing among physicians' offices, the emergency department, and inpatient and outpatient hospital care teams. It also allows the organisation to build in functions such as medication scanning and clinical alerts to prevent harm and provide safer care.

Today, Mercy has accumulated millions of data points in longitudinal patient records with more data accessible from fields versus being obscured in physician notes within the EHR.

Where Mercy still has data in a note, it uses award-winning natural language processing (NLP) capabilities to extract and measure it.

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