Nemours is changing the way it sees data with new analytics tech

All forms of data analysis have evolved at Nemours Children’s Health System, and it's now able to make correlations that it was not able to before.
By Bill Siwicki
12:23 PM
Nemours Children's Health System building, Orlando

Nemours Children's Health System, Orlando

Nemours Children’s Health System had a big challenge around electronic information: It needed to change its culture, to move to a model where staff started pursuing data versus just receiving data.

THE PROBLEM

And the health system has addressed this problem. By shifting that culture over time and bringing on IT tools to help, along with training, the organization has evolved significantly, said Rishi Muchhala, manager of enterprise intelligence at Nemours Children’s Health System.

“We’re seeing across the organization more people becoming comfortable with using dashboards and interacting with data,” he said.

“Our overall business is now getting more value out of answering the unknowns with data and by seeing data all in one place. Our team’s role has shifted from repeatedly building dashboards and reports to really enabling the organization. We now have about 60% to 70% of our organization that we touch with analytics one way or another.”

PROPOSAL

Part of the solution to the problem was turning to data analytics and data integration technology vendor Qlik.

“When thinking about how to move our culture to be more data-driven, we knew that the technology solution we chose needed to have a few qualities,” Muchhala explained. “First, given the large range of comfort with data within our user base, it needed to be intuitive and easy to use. It needed to be a solution where we could quickly bring all our relevant data from any system, across finance, patient care and the overall business, into one place for analysis.”

"We are now able to more effectively track key KPI metrics like length of stay, door-to-bed, left without treatment, all to ensure that patients are getting through the system as efficiently as possible, while providing high-quality care."

Rishi Muchhala, Nemours Children’s Health System

And it needed to be a solution that could help users easily explore more data relevant to their functions, he added. With its interface, associative engine and built-in AI capabilities, Qlik Sense met every requirement, he said.

MARKETPLACE

There are a plethora of analytics technology vendors on the market. Some of these vendors include 3M Health Information Systems, Acxiom, Arcadia Healthcare Solutions, Berg Analytics, Change Healthcare, Healthasyst, IBM, Informatica, InterSystems, MedeAnalytics, Medecision, Optum, PointRight, Qlik, SA Ignite, SCIO Health Analytics, SPH Analytics and VigiLanz.

MEETING THE CHALLENGE

Like every healthcare organization, Nemours Children’s Health System has a wealth of data across the clinical and business aspects of the organization. The key for Nemours was to get more widespread access to granular and transactional data on KPIs like length of stay and door-to-bed for efficiencies, while also ensuring high-quality care, Muchhala noted.

“Bringing in disparate data from our finance systems, our patient care systems and the systems from our various locations and specialties into one place was crucial to gaining insights into overall trends and KPIs,” he said. “Using Qlik Sense to be that one source of truth for analysis was very helpful. It has enabled the administration to see overall trends in the data for macro decisions, but also is helping specific roles such as doctors and nurses to partner more closely on best practice protocols that are enhancing patient care.”

RESULTS

Having access to all granular and transactional data, the organization has been able to transform the way that it looks at data. From billing, to the way that staff looks at the patient flow, to the way that staff looks at business development, these all have evolved because Nemours now is able to make correlations that it was not able to before, Muchhala explained.

“In one scenario, we were able to drill down to three specific patients where a simple call from a financial counselor and an insurance counselor from our end led to $54,000 in revenue,” he recalled. “We are now able to more effectively track key KPI metrics like length of stay, door-to-bed, left without treatment, all to ensure that patients are getting through the system as efficiently as possible, while providing high-quality care to those patients.”

ADVICE FOR OTHERS

“A crucial piece when considering data and analytics technology is actually not about the technology itself. It’s about having a realistic sense of the level of data literacy in the organization, and thinking about how the technology you select will help you create and sustain a data-driven culture,” Muchhala advised.

“Think clearly and deeply about what using data can do for each role in the organization,” he concluded. “That will help you choose technology that will bring more value through data to everyone, from administration, to finance, to the healthcare professionals on the front lines of care.”

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himss.org
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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