Category Archives: Healthcare
ROI = every executive’s favorite acronym and one that is often challenging to demonstrate.
In our interactions with provider clients and prospects we are hearing that they’ve migrated to new EMRs but aren’t receiving the ROI they had budgeted or anticipated. In many cases, they are using the new EMR for documentation but still paying to maintain the legacy EMR for access to historical data for billing and care delivery. If health systems can retire these applications and still maintain operational access to the data, they will be able to realize the expected ROI and serve patients proactively.
My colleague Julie, Lockner wrote a blog post about how Informatica Application Retirement for Healthcare is helping healthcare organizations to retire legacy applications and realize ROI.
Healthcare organizations are currently engaged in major transformative initiatives. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provided the healthcare industry incentives for the adoption and modernization of point-of-care computing solutions including electronic medical and health records (EMRs/EHRs). Funds have been allocated, and these projects are well on their way. In fact, the majority of hospitals in the US are engaged in implementing EPIC, a software platform that is essentially the ERP for healthcare.
These Cadillac systems are being deployed from scratch with very little data being ported from the old systems into the new. The result is a dearth of legacy applications running in aging hospital data centers, consuming every last penny of HIS budgets. Because the data still resides on those systems, hospital staff continues to use them making it difficult to shut down or retire.
Most of these legacy systems are not running on modern technology platforms – they run on systems such as HP Turbo Image, Intercache Mumps, and embedded proprietary databases. Finding people who know how to manage and maintain these systems is costly and risky – risky in that if data residing in those applications is subject to data retention requirements (patient records, etc.) and the data becomes inaccessible.
A different challenge for CFOs of these hospitals is the ROI on these EPIC implementations. Because these projects are multi-phased, multi-year, boards of directors are asking about the value realized from these investments. Many are coming up short because they are maintaining both applications in parallel. Relief will come when systems can be retired – but getting hospital staff and regulators to approve a retirement project requires evidence that they can still access data while adhering to compliance needs.
Many providers have overcome these hurdles by successfully implementing an application retirement strategy based on the Informatica Data Archive platform. Several of the largest pediatrics’ children’s hospitals in the US are either already saving or expecting to save $2 Million or more annually from retiring legacy applications. The savings come from:
- Eliminating software maintenance and license costs
- Eliminate hardware dependencies and costs
- Reduced storage requirements by 95% (data archived is stored in a highly compressed, accessible format)
- Improved efficiencies in IT by eliminating specialized processes or skills associated with legacy systems
- Freed IT resources – teams can spend more of their time working on innovations and new projects
Informatica Application Retirement Solutions for Healthcare provide hospitals with the ability to completely retire legacy applications, retire and maintain access to archive data for hospital staff. And with built in security and retention management, records managers and legal teams are satisfying compliance requirements. Contact your Informatica Healthcare team for more information on how you can get that EPIC ROI the board of directors is asking for.
Interesting that I found this one. Informatica announced that two Informatica customers were named Leaders in the Ventana Research 2013 Leadership Awards, which honor the leaders and pioneers who have contributed to their organizations’ successes. While many of you may think that I’m shelling for our host, these stories are actually hard to come by, and when I find them I love to make hay.
This is not a lack of interest; it’s just the fact that those successful with data integration projects are typically the unsung heroes of enterprise IT. There are almost never awards. However, those who count on enterprise IT to provide optimal data flow in support of the business processes should understand that the data integration got them there. In this case, one of the more interesting stories was around UMASS Memorial Health Care: Leadership Award For CIO George Brenckle
“The Ventana Research Leadership Awards recognize organizations and supporting technology vendors that have effectively achieved superior results through using people, processes, information and technology while applying best practices within specific business and technology categories.” Those receiving these awards leverage the Informatica Platform, thus why the award is promoted. However, I find the approaches and the way technology is leveraged most interesting.
Just as a bit of background. UMASS Memorial Health Care undertook the Cornerstone initiative to transform the way data is used across its medical center, four community hospitals, more than 60 outpatient clinics, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The geographical distribution of these entities, and the different ways that they store data is always the challenge.
When approaching these problems you need two things: First, a well defined plan as to how you plan on approaching the problem, including the consumption of information from the source, the processing of that information, and the production of that information to the target. Cornerstone implements common patient, clinical and financial systems and drive information across these systems to optimize healthcare delivery and improve patient outcomes, grow the patient population and increase efficiency.
UMASS Memorial Health Care used Informatica to establish a data integration and data quality initiative to incorporate data from its clinical, financial and administrative sources and targets. Using the Informatica technology, they are able to place volatility into the domain of the integration technology, in this case, Informatica. This allows the integration administrator to add or delete systems as needed, and brings the concept of agility to a rapidly growing hospital system.
“The success of Cornerstone has resulted in primary patient panel analytics, online diabetes care, a command center for the ICU, and compliance with Medicare programs.” Indeed, the business results are apparent around the use of data integration approaches and technology, including the ability to trace this project back to an immediate and definable business benefit.
A lesson learned from other industries, like retail and financial services, is that while analytics and data warehouses are critical components to delivering big results from data — neither is easy. Gartner reported that 80% of data warehousing initiatives fail to meet expectations, often running over budget and failing to deliver a ROI.
- Executives are often frustrated because responses to their requests for new reports and edited reports take too long
- Misunderstood requirements and costly rework are the result of a lack of collaboration between stakeholders and IT
- BI consumers lose confidence in data; they don’t trust it because they lack transparency into its lineage and don’t understand why it appears differently after being aggregated with data from other applications
Expecting value from data without making a commiserate investment in data results in unmet expectations. Accessing data is hard, each request requires new effort, establishing enterprise standards for data quality are an enormous effort and transforming data to fit into a heterogeneous intelligence environment is complicated and time consuming.
Introducing multiple sources of data across organizational boundaries creates a need for an environment that supports effective collaboration between stakeholders and the information technology team implementing solutions to manage data. To be genuinely useful, data must be verifiable and trustworthy since only then will stakeholders have the confidence to make data-driven decisions. To realize the value of data, from Epic and beyond, IT leaders must implement business intelligence and data warehousing best practices that:
- bring data together across applications including clinical and financial data
- foster collaboration between clinicians, IT and business stakeholders
- establish trust and confidence in business intelligence and decision making.
EMR vendors have long encouraged that their EMR and business intelligence capabilities negate the need to have a plan to integrate data or implement a separate data warehousing and business intelligence. This philosophy begs the question – how can one transactional clinical application support the intelligence needs of an enterprise? Consider customer relationship management data for feeding customer driven marketing initiatives, time tracking data full of valuable employee utilization stats, payer claims data and newly acquired practices running an EMR independent of Epic… just to name a few.
With the recognition that an EMR accounts for only a fraction of the data needed for reliable and comprehensive business intelligence comes requirements to reconcile terminology and data quality standards across an increasingly large set of trading partners and stakeholders, to access data from other sources (like payroll, CRM and claims) and to migrate clinical data from legacy applications.
In fact, business intelligence and analytics are dependent on data from across the enterprise. Most clinical and financial decisions are dependent on data; great potential lies within data – making it a valuable asset. This is not a new idea. What is a newer concept is what it means to really elevate data to the status of an asset. Unlocking the potential of data as an asset requires that healthcare organizations begin to think about and invest in data in new ways; making investments beyond traditional infrastructure like databases and data storage. Healthcare organizations must make investments in the ongoing management and improvement of the data itself as they do with any other asset, like talent, buildings or their EMR – for example understanding its quality and allocating people and systems to managing it. Moving faster in this competitive climate and delivering differentiated results requires it.
Check back next week for Part II which explores treating data as an asset further.
Join us this year at Informatica World!
We have a great line up of speakers and events to help you become a data driven healthcare organization… I’ve provided a few highlights below:
Participate in the Informatica World Keynote sessions with Sohaib Abbasi and Rick Smolan who wrote “The Human Face of Big Data” — learn more via this quick YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K5d9ArRLJE&feature=player_embedded
With more than 100 interactive and in-depth breakout sessions, spanning 6 different tracks, (Platform & Products, Architecture, Best Practices, Big Data, Hybrid IT and Tech Talk), Informatica World is an excellent way to ensure you are getting the most from your Informatica investment. Learn best practices from organizations who are realizing the potential of their data like: Ochsner Health, Sutter Health, UMass Memorial, Qualcomm and Paypal.
Finally, we want you to balance work with a little play… we invite you to network with industry peers at our Healthcare Cocktail Reception on the evening of Wednesday, June 5th and again during our Data Driven Healthcare Breakfast Roundtable on Thursday, June 6th.
See you there!
Last week, we hosted a webinar Realizing the Potential of Your Data with Ochsner Health System. Jonathan Stevenson, Director of Analytics, joined me for a dialogue on what they’ve learned in their early steps toward becoming an Accountable Care Organization.
We had a an interactive audience asking questions. A few of which, with their answers, are included below: (more…)
There was an interesting story that surfaced recently. Indiana University researchers found that a pair of predictive modeling techniques can make significantly better decisions about patients’ treatments than can doctors acting alone. Indeed, they claim a better than 50 percent reduction in costs and more than 40 percent better patient outcomes. (See a story by Derrick Harris over at GigaOM for additional analysis, and I will also cover this subject in greater detail in a forthcoming column in TDWI’s “BI This Week.”) (more…)
HISTalk published a recent interview with Ochsner Health System CIO, Chris Belmont. Chris and his team are great Informatica clients and I really like how he conveyed the benefits of making Informatica the data backbone of their Epic implementation. I can’t say it any better than Chris already has so I’ve extracted a few take-always below and you can read the entire interview here
On the importance of migrating legacy data into the new EMR: “Informatica was critical in getting us there. We learned on the first site. We thought it was a good idea to go in there with an empty slate and say, let’s just build it all from scratch and start with a clean slate. Let’s make sure the record’s in good shape. We quickly realized that was a bad idea. Not just in the clinical areas, but in the registration area.”
On the value of Application Retirement: “That’s going to be a big win for us. In fact, we’re targeting about $13 million in operational benefit when we turn off those legacy platforms. Informatica is going to allow us to get there.”
On not ever being 100% Epic: “We’re watching it, but frankly it will be a while – and I would argue never – that we’ll be 100 percent Epic. A lot of the data that we have that Informatica allows us to get our hands on and load into our warehouse is non-Epic data.”
On the nuggets Informatica is helping them to uncover: “We’re correlating a lot of data, not just from Epic, but I think right now we have like 25 different systems that we’re running through Informatica and into our warehouse. The gold nuggets that are coming out of that data are just tremendous.”
On challenges and opportunities: “It’s going to be, how do we do more with the data we have…having that data in a format that’s easily, quickly, and very accessible is going to be key. Gone are the days where you can throw an army of analysts in a room and say, “Give me this report” and you wait three weeks and they give you something that’s less than optimal. I think the days of, “Tell me what I need to know before I even know that I need to know it” — I think those are the days that we’re looking forward to. With the tools we have with partners like Informatica with their tools, I think we can achieve it.”
Meet Chris and his team in Informatica Booth 5005 during HIMSS 2013.
HIMSS 2013 — right time, right place, it’s on!
How can we gain market share? How can we effectively engage consumers through marketing? Our payer clients are telling us that they need to understand and use the data they have to answer these questions and create a competitive advantage.
Join Informatica in booth 5005 to learn how 84 of the Fortune 100 and >200 healthcare organizations are already powering their potential with data.
Think about this – you sit in meeting after meeting where everyone asks how do we compete better tomorrow? What can we do to differentiate ourselves? The first step in doing something better is understanding what you are doing today; being able to confidently state what’s working and what’s not. When it comes to competing for market share, most organizations can’t do this. We inadvertently continue behaviors which are high cost and low value instead of encouraging lower cost, higher value behaviors. Why when that seems counterintuitive? Because leaders don’t know which behaviors are delivering high value and which are not. They aren’t given complete and accurate data to analyze the results and costs. Further, decisions to change behaviors are made at an executive level but are hard to change on the front line.
Stop by booth 5005 during HIMSS. Informatica’s solutions unlock organizational potential with trustworthy data.
Learn more about the solutions in our booth by listening to this quick overview: Informatica HIMSS Overview
Any questions, let me know, otherwise I look forward to seeing you in NOLA!