Barbara Baldwin

Barbara Baldwin, VP and CIO, Anne Arundel Medical Center.

By Aine Cryts

AXIS recently talked to Barbara Baldwin, vice president and CIO at Annapolis, Md.-based Anne Arundel Medical Center, about tackling population health through the use of technology and by deepening community partnerships. (See Part 1 of her interview here.)

AXIS: Can you share an example of such a program that you’ve implemented?

Baldwin: Using analytics, we were able through our nurses – and the data that they collect along with some other population information that we have – to determine we were receiving a number of medical 911 calls from a subsidized senior housing facility in Annapolis. We found that out just by aggregating the data and looking at the patterns.

Here’s what we did as a result: We opened a one-doctor primary care clinic in that building in October 2013. What followed was a 50 percent drop in medical 911 calls, and a readmission rate drop of 91 percent. That’s all because we were able to look at that aggregated information and figure out what was happening there – and that benefits the community.

Our treatment of congestive heart failure was impacted. And certainly our treatment of diabetes was impacted, even though diabetes doesn’t typically result in a 911 medical call.

AXIS: That’s very exciting. Are there other community health problems you’ve tackled this way?

Baldwin: Absolutely. One of the other programs we were able to put in place was lung cancer screenings. When you do an effective screening—especially with lung cancer—you lower the stage at which you detect cancer, and you save money and you save lives.

This is about formalizing the lung cancer screening, which was really based on research done in in terms of the efficacy of using the CT to scan for lung cancer. Once the paper was delivered and published, it was a short time between then and when Medicare was allowing organizations to offer the lung cancer screening program. In order to provide that program, you have to build in a very complex screening plan with triage nurses and nurses and all the different oncologies and surgery. All of those things had to be implemented in order to get the program up and running.

What’s pretty amazing is we started looking at the data in January, and by March we had the program online. Informatics is pushing the pace of these things because we’re able to respond and implement new science-based technologies and manage diseases; we’re able to do that faster now. Even 10 years ago, it would have taken a considerable amount of time. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without the [insight provided by] EHRs and our IT and analytics infrastructure.


About Barbara Baldwin:

Barbara Baldwin has been vice president and CIO of Anne Arundel Medical Center since 2012. She has responsibility for the overall strategy and deployment of electronic information and technology services. Previously, Baldwin has served as CIO at several healthcare organizations, including the University of Virginia Health System.

A fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, Baldwin is certified as a project management professional. She previously served as chair of the University Health System Consortium’s CIO Council, as chair-elect for the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Group on Information Resources, and as a board member for the Virginia Health Quality Center. For nine years, she served her community as a member of the United Way/Jefferson Region’s program review and funding committee.

Baldwin received a bachelor of science degree in environmental health from Norfolk, Va.-based Old Dominion University and was awarded a master’s degree in health administration from Duke University.