Provider Networks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Associate with Length of Stay.IEEE Conf Collab Internet Comput. 2019 Dec; 2019:127-134.IC
We strive to understand care coordination structures of multidisciplinary teams and to evaluate their effect on post-surgical length of stay (PSLOS) in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Electronic health record (EHR) data were extracted for 18 neonates, who underwent gastrostomy tube placement surgery at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center NICU. Based on providers' interactions with the EHR (e.g. viewing, documenting, ordering), provider-provider relations were learned and used to build patient-specific provider networks representing the care coordination structure. We quantified the networks using standard network analysis metrics (e.g., in-degree, out-degree, betweenness centrality, and closeness centrality). Coordination structure effectiveness was measured as the association between the network metrics and PSLOS, as modeled by a proportional-odds, logistical regression model. The 18 provider networks exhibited various team compositions and various levels of structural complexity. Providers, whose patients had lower PSLOS, tended to disperse patient-related information to more colleagues within their network than those, who treated higher PSLOS patients (P = 0.0294). In the NICU, improved dissemination of information may be linked to reduced PSLOS. EHR data provides an efficient, accessible, and resource-friendly way to study care coordination using network analysis tools. This novel methodology offers an objective way to identify key performance and safety indicators of care coordination and to study dissemination of patient-related information within care provider networks and its effect on care. Findings should guide improvements in the EHR system design to facilitate effective clinical communications among providers.