EPIC Optimization   

Hackensack University Medical Center Launches Osteoporosis EHR Program to Close Care Gap

Program leverages EHR to initiate treatment advisories to primary care physicians to ensure osteoporosis follow up

Epic Optimization

A new osteoporosis intervention program at Hackensack University Medical Center launched in early 2024 provides Epic treatment advisories to primary care physicians serving patients upon osteoporosis diagnosis.

Osteoporosis is associated with significant morbidity especially with fractures of the hip or compression fracture of the spine, yet is a preventable and treatable illness. Treatment should ideally begin upon diagnosis, rather than waiting for a fracture to occur.

“Screening prompts in Epic have helped increase diagnoses, yet many patients are screened and diagnosed but not treated and managed,” says Manisha S. Parulekar, M.D., FACP, CMD, director of the Division of Geriatrics at Hackensack University Medical Center.

The new initiative takes Epic advisories a step further. The HMH ambulatory Epic team has developed an algorithm to target osteoporosis treatment. The program issues care alerts for patients with a diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteoporotic fractures when the underlying osteoporosis is not being treated with medication to help primary care physicians address this care gap.

If an osteoporosis screening is positive, Epic advisories offer recommendations for the primary care provider to follow up with treatment options. The best practice advisory prompts are proactive and action-oriented, with care orders for blood work, medication and bone density tests integrated.

“We are moving osteoporosis treatment from reacting to proactively treating and reducing complications for our patients,” Dr. Parulekar said.

A network-wide rollout is in progress, along with measurement of the intervention’s effectiveness.

Learn more about innovative geriatric care at Hackensack University Medical Center.

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