Managing Real-Time Healthcare through Advanced Analytics

Investment in data analytics at Parkland Health and Hospital System pays off with improved patient care and resource capacity management. A holistic analytics strategy enables informed decision making from front-line staff, executive leadership, and command center operations. 

Prior to Covid, using real-time, advanced analytics was an idea for the future at many healthcare delivery systems. In fact, eight in 10 healthcare managers responding to a 2020 Black Box survey reported their use of advanced analytics for key decision making and strategic planning as negligible. 

Since Covid, analytics usage rates have spiked. The pandemic has moved the need for rapid, agile responses based on analytics from nice-to-have to must-have. Analytics has become critical for dealing with the pandemic-driven challenges of running a healthcare system. 

Healthcare Business Transformation Consortium Creates Analytics Launch Pad 

Becoming experts in analytics is difficult for many healthcare systems. To better understand how to use advanced analytics, SAP and Intel launched the Healthcare Business Transformation Consortium (HBTC). Consortium members are healthcare leaders working together to create an integrated approach for managing the healthcare experience, costs, and quality through advanced analytics. They share best practices, expertise, and insights in how to get the biggest impact from advanced analytics and data-driven decisions.

One major advantage for members is access to an online portal with multiple resources, basically a starter set that accelerates members’ data programs that are already underway or are in the planning stage. The assets include a Git Hub repository with help for creating self-service reports and requests, data transport routes, code sharing repositories, and more. Recently, the team from founding member Parkland Health and Hospital System shared an IT services analytic in the online portal that covered aspects of everyday hospital reporting and how the business is supported by IT.

Analytics Support Rapid Response in a Fast-spreading Pandemic

Having real-world experience in the consortium from a health leader like Parkland is a real advantage for those moving into the deep end of analytics. As the second-largest county hospital in Texas, Parkland is a devoted believer of leveraging analytics to improve patient care. The Dallas hospital handles 240,000 emergency visits and 1 million outpatients annually. 

In 2020 Parkland was named a Stage 7 certified member of HIMMS Adoption model for analytics maturity. Parkland is one of only six organizations in the world to receive this recognition for focusing on a data-driven/analytics-first culture. 

Very soon after winning the HIMMS award, Covid reached the Dallas metro area. Their efforts spent developing a data-driven institute built on SAP HANA architecture powered by Intel® Xeon® scalable processors, started showing clear results. 

“Covid played a crucial role in the acceleration of our transformation journey. Chronic industry problems became critical fixes,” says Scott Harrison, Vice President of Enterprise Data Services/Chief Data Officer, at Parkland Health and Hospital System. 

With more than 200 data sources connected into SAP HANA, the hospital took advantage of the incredibly fast processing speed of Intel processors. Some sources had live streaming capabilities, and the combination of SAP HANA and Intel® Xeon® delivered the performance that was vital. Parkland provided timely and relevant data when it was most needed to leaders across the organization. 

Front-line workers, executive leaders, and command center operations relied on current, accurate information relayed on dashboards about the number of Covid cases, hospital beds available, and status of PPE. Teams also turned to these real-time dashboards to better understand—and prepare for—where Covid spikes would occur next through infection surge modeling. 

Parkland also relied on experience management surveys and digital boardroom dashboards to unify decision making and drive the hospital’s response strategy. Parkland overnight shifted from reactively providing care to proactively managing demand to protect critical care capacity. 

Best Practices for Data-Driven Real-Time Healthcare 

Getting to this point was a journey, says Harrison, in a showcase webinar. As he looked back on the experience, he identified these best practices for managing real-time healthcare through data and analytics.

  • Create a data governance or data management strategy. Hard decisions must be made to create a governance plan that gives highest priority to what delivers the largest impact.
  • Put patient care first. Gather a brain trust of data engineers, quality and public safety teams, and executive leadership to understand from a population management perspective where and what you need to treat.
  • Gain support from executive leadership. Leadership support is incredibly important for the program to be successful. Without outspoken support from executives, its chances of succeeding decrease.
  • Be totally transparent. Open-up to the organization about what you are doing and be accountable. You can boost early adoption by working with different groups within the hospital to help them become comfortable with the changes.

You can sign up for the HBTC consortium here

Curious about more tips and insight from Parkland’s IT leaders, register and download the free on-demand webinar hosted by Parkland, SAP, and Intel.

The editorial staff had no role in this post's creation.