Halifax health

Delivering Vital Insights to Clinicians and Administrators

Halifax Health, the largest hospital in Daytona Beach, FL, recently invested in the Meditech Data Repository (DR) to improve financial, regulatory, clinical, and productivity reporting. Staff needed to leverage data in Meditech, TeletTracking, eSignature, Kronos, and Allscripts applications, while managers wanted end-user dashboards with key performance indicators (KPIs) for inpatient quality, patient safety, core measures, and finance.

Previously, Halifax used McKesson’s Trendstar for decision support and cost accounting, but transitioned to Allscripts’ EPSi – tools designed for analysts, not business users. Additionally, the Meditech NPR report writer required highly-experienced IT personnel for in-house development. Halifax needed general-purpose business intelligence (BI) that emphasized self-service.

Halifax considered BI solutions from Microsoft, Oracle, IBM/Cognos, SAP BusinessObjects, MicroStrategy, and Dimensional Insight. Information Builders’ intelligence and integrity solutions were strongly favored for their broad capabilities and ease-of-use. Halifax developers found it easy to create interactive and visually compelling InfoAppsTM, and deploy dashboards and compound reports.

A real-time emergency department (ED) dashboard displays current patient activity, updated every minute. ED administrators use computers, tablets, and smartphones to track incoming patients, monitor how long they’ve been in a particular room, review what tests have been ordered, and determine whether throughput objectives have been met. Personnel now make decisions based on quantitative rather than anecdotal information, reacting immediately to live data.

“One of the great benefits of WebFOCUS is flexibility,” says Andy Foster, decision support manager at Halifax Health. “Our business leaders need actionable knowledge so they can make decisions and continue to improve the care we provide to our patients. Through our data repository and the vast capabilities provided by the metadata layer in WebFOCUS, I can always provide a solution that fits their needs, from ad hoc reporting to self-service BI applications to the domain-specific automation we get with InfoApps.”

Additionally, Halifax determined that WebFOCUS accomplished the same financial reporting it could perform with Oracle Hyperion – plus it was easier to create and modify dashboards. With WebFOCUS and InfoAssist, self-service BI can be offered to the entire organization, including the finance department.

Displaying Real-Time Data for Urgent Care

Meditech DR serves as a staging area for clinical and administrative data, which is then loaded into a SQL Server data warehouse and structured for self-service operational and financial reporting. IT also created function-specific data marts for various clinical and financial domains. Decision support personnel dubbed the new environment Business Related Actionable Information Network (BRAIN). WebFOCUS and InfoAssist were used to create dozens of dashboards, reports, and InfoApps.

A real-time emergency department (ED) dashboard displays current patient activity, updated every minute. ED administrators use computers, tablets, and smartphones to track incoming patients, monitor how long they’ve been in a particular room, review what tests have been ordered, and determine whether throughput objectives have been met. Personnel now make decisions based on quantitative rather than anecdotal information, reacting immediately to live data.

Data about “frequent flyers,” people who visit the ED often due to chronic conditions, is also included. These citizens are assigned a case manager who emphasizes prevention and promotes the most appropriate care delivery setting. Additionally, the dashboard generates alerts to instantly notify staff when immediate action is required. For example, ED doctors see where hang-ups are occurring, and case managers know when key patients arrive so they can quickly address their needs.

A Skilled Nursing Facility dashboard shares patient information among nurses and attending physicians. This is helpful when patients are transferred between facilities, revealing which patients are sent, which ones come back within 30 days, and what condition they’re in at the time of transfer. Clinicians throughout the network use this dashboard to collaborate and provide knowledgeable care, without having to make special requests for patient health records.

Guiding Users to Targeted Information

Historically, getting data out of Meditech DR required users to run tab-delimited reports and export the results to Excel. Information Builders’ technology eliminated this manual reporting with reports and InfoApps that leverage the data marts to support decision making within well-defined subject areas.

Halifax does most of its development with InfoAssist. For example, a new utilization dashboard displays monthly KPIs for monitoring broad trends and drilling into daily details. Information Builders’ solutions also automate physician credentialing, create more efficient procedures for scheduling surgeries, and track patients among medical facilities.

The environment also improves compliance with Medicare reporting requirements. For example, a Relative Value Unit report enables doctors and service line leaders to measure physician productivity. The NPR-based version of this report took hours to run. Now it takes just a few minutes.

Workers in the Infection Control department continually track patients seeking treatments for infectious diseases. At the end of each quarter, the department needs a complete summary report to assess progress. Previously, it took over a month to gather this information. Now, an InfoAssist report summarizes the data immediately.

Halifax is training power users in the more tech-savvy departments to create their own InfoAssist reports.

Spreading Insight Into New Domains

WebFOCUS usage at Halifax is perpetually growing. The decision support team continues to receive requests from groups interested in BI. Planned applications include a disease-specific clinical management tool, a physician billing dashboard, enhancements to infection control tracking, and reports to manage materials, control inventory, and analyze insurance claims.

“I view the support team at Information Builders as a business partner,” says Foster “Throughout the expansion and development of our BI environment, they have been a great resource, helping us bridge gaps between simply reporting on the data and providing true business intelligence that meets our customers’ needs.”


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