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Premier Inc. Announced as Winner in 2021 NC TECH Awards


Note: this blog was updated on 11.4 following the NC Tech Awards announcement that Premier was selected as the winner in the Analytics and Big Data category. This piece originally highlighted Premier's selection as an NC Tech Awards finalist.

Premier has been chosen as the NC TECH Awards winner for innovative use of technology in the Analytics and Big Data category.

The NC Tech Awards is North Carolina's only statewide technology awards program that recognizes innovation, growth and leadership in the tech sector and is presented by the NC TECH (North Carolina Technology Association).

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically shifted the need for innovative data solutions to deliver real-time insights to those on the front lines. Premier's PINC AI technology infrastructure is powered by 20 years’ worth of cost, quality and operational data points gleaned from more than:

  • 45 percent of U.S. hospital discharges;
  • 812 million hospital outpatient and clinic encounters; and
  • 131 million physician office visits.

This data powerhouse provides the industry with a unique opportunity to identify gaps and standardize care, ultimately accelerating value through evidence, and it includes:

  • PINC AI’s advanced syndromic surveillance solution, which leverages electronic health records from 200,000 healthcare providers across more than 400 hospitals nationally and serves as a real-time warning system for health officials in communities across the nation – forecasting surges and helping providers and other stakeholders plan strategic, coordinated responses. PINC AI’s syndromic surveillance solution was also recognized by FastCompany as an honorable mention for its 2021 World Changing Ideas Award.
  • PINC AI’s clinical surveillance technology, including COVID-19-specific alerts and patient flags for tracking and analytics. As a result, hundreds of infection preventionists across the country have been tapping into COVID-19 clinical content at the point of care to isolate suspected or positive cases, prevent the spread and deliver the right care at the right time.
  • PINC AI’s Crisis Forecasting and Planning Toolto predict surge, prioritize supply and adjust therapies for COVID-19 patients. This tool could predict a hospital's COVID-19 census based on cases at the county level; model supply levels based on estimated case volume and typical surge demand; and show inventory availability by supplier. This enabled providers to anticipate their needs for personal protective equipment along with other products and therapeutics necessary for treating patients.
  • PINC AI’s new predictive workforce solution, which leverages machine learning to predict whether a specific department will face a critical shortage of clinical staff within the next eight weeks. Considering that it often takes 30-45 days to fully onboard new clinical staff members, this tool could provide an early warning system, enabling health system leaders to take staffing action before a shortage occurs. The model may also be used to identify departments where current staffing is likely sufficient over the near term, enabling excess resources to be aligned with the areas of greatest need.
  • Premier Healthcare Database (PHD), which has emerged as a key source of data for studying COVID-19. The PHD has fueled leading research conducted by the Premier Applied Sciences team as well as U.S. government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Premier Applied Sciences added new capabilities to put natural language processing (NLP) technology into the hands of clinical trial sponsors, investigators, life sciences companies and other organizations that could reap its benefits for COVID-19 research and clinical trial recruitment.

Fueled by Big Data and robust analytics, Premier’s PINC AI technology infrastructure enables healthcare providers to move from disruption to decision, and is unique and innovative in the following ways:

Speed to Insight

With broad adoption of solutions and technologies like electronic health records, health systems are tasked with the challenge of analyzing large amounts of complex data and turning it into meaningful insights that guide decision-making – a task that could take months with traditional processes currently in place. PINC AI’s depth of data and building blocks in place provides the technology to deliver insights to systems within a day (contingent upon the tools systems have) as opposed to the industry standard of months.

Navigating the Nation’s COVID-19 Response

The technology can deduce trends from natural language processing (NLP) - to read, analyze and understand a doctor's free-text notes in real-time and deploy evidence-based guidance at the point of care without waiting for test results. Alongside disease surge, time is of the essence and PINC AI solutions help the healthcare industry and state officials take immediate action.

Mitigating Health Disparities

COVID-19 exposed weaknesses in the IT systems and technology adoption across the various players in healthcare, particularly with the widening gap in health equity. As such, the need to identify inequalities in care and work to close them has never been more crucial. While more organizations are beginning to adopt technologies that collect real-world patient data, most tools do not have the ability to segment by race and socioeconomic status, which is the first step in uncovering the disparities that exist. The adaptation of PINC AI’s technology is enabling systems to better identify not only disparities tied to the pandemic, but also future trends in population health outside the pandemic.

With this technology, PINC AI is revolutionizing the way researchers, payers and providers respond to healthcare crises and will be instrumental in identifying trends beyond COVID-19 including flu, measles and other respiratory diseases that may inform system-wide care and decision making.

“For over 20 years, NC TECH has celebrated companies, organizations and individuals for outstanding achievement at the NC TECH Awards. As a finalist this year, Premier has distinguished itself as one of the state’s innovative and emergent leaders,” said Brooks Raiford, NC TECH’s President and CEO.

We believe healthcare is about doing what’s right and what’s best for our communities. To accomplish this, healthcare needs tech enablement. PINC AI technology is powering the future of healthcare through a combination of data, technology, services, and scale, all designed to optimize provider performance at every point.

We’re proud of our work and efforts during COVID-19 and for the future – and we’re honored to be recognized as a 2021 NC Tech Awards Winner.

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