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MEDIA CONTACT: Gisele Galoustian
Cheryl Alden
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Florida Atlantic University Joins Forces with PointClickCare® to Reduce Unnecessary Re-hospitalizations with INTERACT™ and Electronic Health Records

Sponsored Research Initiative will Provide Certification of FAU’s INTERACT Quality Improvement Program for EHR Software Providers Serving the Long-term Care Industry

BOCA RATON, FL (August 22, 2012) — Florida Atlantic University has announced the introduction of a joint initiative with PointClickCare, the long-term care industry’s most widely used Electronic Health Record (EHR) platform, to develop a fully integrated, electronic version of its INTERACT quality improvement program – eINTERACT™. Interventions to Reduce Unnecessary Hospitalizations of Nursing Home Residents or INTERACT is a quality improvement program designed to facilitate the early identification, evaluation, documentation and communication about changes in the status of residents in skilled nursing facilities (SNF), and provide the necessary tools to manage conditions before they become serious enough to necessitate a hospital transfer. The primary goal of the initiative is to bring the significant quality improvements of the INTERACT program to EHR software platforms through an industry-standard certification program.

“We are extremely pleased to be working with PointClickCare to provide ease-of-use and electronic decision support tools based on our INTERACT program,” said Joseph Ouslander, M.D., senior associate dean of geriatric programs at FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. “We knew this initiative required input and expertise from both the provider and EHR vendor perspectives. Given their market leadership position, along with the breadth and depth of experience in developing and delivering EHR solutions to the long-term care and post-acute care industry, collaborating with PointClickCare is the obvious choice for us for this initiative.”

Ouslander and Ruth Tappen, Ed.D., R.N., Christine E. Lynn Eminent Scholar, FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing are co-directors of INTERACT and are collaborating on this project to help address the national imperative for innovative strategies to improve care for Medicare beneficiaries and reduce healthcare costs.

“Using INTERACT’s standardized protocols, many residents experiencing an acute event can be treated in the nursing home without complications or the stress of a hospital transfer saving Medicare upwards of $10,000 or more,” said Tappen. “Implementing such care in nursing homes nationwide could improve care, reduce complications from hospitalizations and significantly reduce healthcare costs.”

The eINTERACT program will leverage the fundamentals of the INTERACT II clinical tools and build those into an EHR. By embedding standard nomenclature and proven clinical protocols (including methods for identification, evaluation, documentation, and inter-provider communication) for specific health events directly within the electronic workflow framework of their current EHR system, many acute care transfers can be avoided without the need for providers to manage these efforts through multiple applications.

There are more than 1.6 million Americans currently living in nursing homes, and approximately 60 percent are sent to emergency rooms and 25 percent are admitted to a hospital in a year. Although hospitalizations are often required for medical reasons, experts suggest that 28 to 40 percent of these admissions could be avoided with enhanced care in the SNF. In the pilot study, INTERACT was implemented at 25 community-based nursing homes in Florida, Massachusetts and New York over a six-month period and resulted in a 17 percent reduction in hospital admissions among the residents. The reduction was even greater in homes that were more engaged in implementing the INTERACT intervention.

Starting Monday, October 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and some Medicare Advantage plans will implement severe reimbursement penalties for a 30-day re-hospitalization, beginning with 1 percent of a hospital’s entire Medicare billings -- climbing to 2 percent in 2013, and 3 percent by 2014.

“Re-hospitalization is one of the most pressing issues facing hospitals and skilled nursing facilities today and we are keen to play a key role in working toward an industry-standard solution in the form of eINTERACT,” said Mike Wessinger, CEO of PointClickCare. “We are proud to have been selected by Dr. Ouslander and his team to participate in this initiative and look forward to the positive impact this program will have on helping to reduce the estimated $4.34 billion problem to Medicare for unnecessary re-hospitalizations in long-term care settings.”

Once the research and development of the program is complete, eINTERACT certification will be made available to EHR software vendors seeking to certify their platforms.

"Reducing hospital readmissions is a major issue facing our member facilities and tops the list of goals of AHCA's Quality Initiative over the next three years," said David Gifford, senior vice president for Quality and Regulatory Affairs with the American Health Care Association. "The work Dr. Ouslander's team and PointClickCare are doing with eINTERACT is a significant step forward and I am encouraged by its potential to deliver real impact to this key issue facing providers today."

Florida Atlantic University and PointClickCare will be hosting two educational webinars on the topics of INTERACT and eINTERACT. To register for one of these events, or for more information on eINTERACT, please visit


INTERACT was first designed as a project supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and further tested in a project supported by the Commonwealth Fund under Dr. Joseph Ouslander's leadership. The program was initially implemented at 25 community-based nursing homes in Florida, Massachusetts and New York over a six-month period and resulted in a 17 percent reduction in hospital admissions among the residents. The reduction was even greater in homes that were most engaged in implementing the INTERACT intervention.  The tools target three key strategies to reduce potentially avoidable hospitalizations: preventing conditions from becoming severe enough to require acute hospital care; managing selected acute conditions in the nursing home; and improving advance care planning for residents among whom a palliative or comfort care plan, rather than acute hospitalization, may be appropriate. Using INTERACT's standardized protocol and working with an on-call nurse practitioner who visits the nursing home daily, the patient can be treated in the nursing home without any complications and only costing Medicare about $200 instead of $10,000 or more. Using such care in nursing homes nationwide could improve care, reduce complications from hospitalizations, and avoid hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicare expenditures annually. For more information about INTERACT, visit

About PointClickCare:
PointClickCare is the most widely-used Electronic Health Record (EHR) platform for the long-term care industry. The combination of PointClickCare's intuitive web-based software and value-driven implementation model enables long-term care providers of all sizes, from single independent homes to the largest multi-facility providers, to deliver a higher standard of health care while experiencing superior financial performance. Over 7,000 long-term care providers throughout North America, including 8 of the top 10 largest US chains, have chosen to trust their business to PointClickCare. For more information on PointClickCare's proven Software-as-a-Service EHR platform, visit

Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit

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