Making Data the Standard for Clinical Decisions

Victor JohansonBlog

By Ryan Fox, National Director, Health Outcomes Sciences, Inc.,


This blog is first in a series of posts by Ryan Fox sharing the progress being made through the partnership between the American College of Cardiology and Health Outcomes Sciences.

Our work on the American College of Cardiology’s SMARTCare clinical model is still in the early stages of a 25-year partnership but already we’re encouraged by the progress being made.

Health Outcomes Sciences was one of a small handful of companies approached by the ACC to participate in the evidenced-based research grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

The goal of SMARTCare is two-fold. First, to increase the percentage of stable ischemic heart disease patients with optimal risk factor modification. And, second, to reduce imaging procedures and percutaneous coronary interventions that don’t meet evidenced-based criteria.

Our team went to work implementing the evidence-based models in ePRISM within the SMARTCare hospitals. We quickly learned the workflow and navigation points in the system were just as important to patients and caregivers, as they were for clinical guidance.

We’re encouraged by initial learnings like these. But the long-term vision the ACC and HOS share is much broader. The program isn’t about installing a traditional ERP, turning over the keys and moving on. Our shared vision is about changing the culture of healthcare organizations so that data is used for decision support, rather than past experience serving as the guide for treatment plans.

SMARTCare was started by Thomas Lewandowski, MD, FACC, a member of the Wisconsin ACC chapter, as well as Allen Seals, MD, FACC, a member of the Florida ACC chapter. They’re working closely with health systems, primary care physicians, employer health coalitions, insurers and other key health care influencers to improve the appropriate use of data to improve quality of care while also containing rising health costs.

We all understand that changing the culture of healthcare is an ambitious undertaking and not for the faint of heart. But we also know that making data the standard for clinical decisions rather than arbitrary payer rules, will ultimately lead to better patient care for all of us at lower costs.


For more information, please email Ryan Fox at