There is general acceptance for business intelligence (BI) and analytics technology as a necessary partner in the changing healthcare environment, but marketed features of these solutions, such as data aggregation, have yet to be fully understood. Simply put, data aggregation is the assembly of data from disconnected, siloed enterprise systems into one singular system view. As we refocus our efforts towards greater quality of care and better financial management, healthcare organizations require a single, comprehensive view of their data, which often exists in multiple transactional systems.
For example, a patient’s lab results reside in the Laboratory Information System (LIS), whereas the information about demographics or medical history is entered into an Electronic Health Record (EHR). More often than not, these two information systems do not interface every key data elements, do not reference the same patient identifiers, and are likely built by different vendors. The complexity in aggregating data across these disparate systems presents a huge challenge for healthcare leaders in having complete insight into the quality and cost drivers within their environment.
Multiple Systems across the Same Function
Often times, data resides in multiple systems even for a specific department or function as a result of acquisitions, different systems being used by different locations, or legacy systems that were never converted. This leads to an inability to evaluate performance across the organization in a consistent manner. Built on Viewics’ vendor-agnostic and normalized data model, the Viewics solution was designed to aggregate data from various systems and provides one unified view of your process across your locations.
With Viewics’ data aggregation technology, users can better understand patients and client metrics across the organization, regardless of the software system being used within their department. Pre-built data connectors for commonly used systems such as Cerner, McKesson, Sunquest, SCC Soft, Meditech, etc. enable automated extraction of data in a consistent and accurate manner without manual intervention.
The Viewics solution offers users a single interface to readily access, evaluate and act upon information across disparate systems within the same department. Organizations can utilize the Viewics Analytics PlatformTM to integrate additional datasources as the needs and information of the company grow. As data sources are added to the platform, organizations won’t be burdened with multiple BI tools for multiple datasources.
Data Aggregation within Departments
The limited data exchange between disparate software systems creates barriers to healthcare providers’ goals to improve quality of patient care. Organizations must be able to gather data from different functions within a department to fully understand their business and deliver comprehensive patient services. By aggregating clinical, financial, and operational data into a common platform, healthcare leaders can deliver better care to patients without needing to learn multiple systems to gather the information and data they need.
Today, data in the transactional systems is analyzed in a silo using off-the-shelf reporting packages such as Crystal Reports, Business Objects, etc. There is no standardization in how data is extracted from these complex systems since the users are left to manage data access by themselves. This results in significant variability in data accuracy across users as well as a high dependence on IT resources since data extraction requires a deep knowledge of the underlying source system. Leaders are forced to rely on manual and laborious methods of gathering data stored in these individual silos and legacy systems. Often times, decisions cannot be made in a timely manner due to the cumbersome nature of this process.
Image 1. Schematic of common data disparity and interoperability problem when dealing with a reporting package. Each department is forced to customize the BI tool themselves. In this scenario, data is stagnant and siloed within a single department.
The Viewics solution abstracts the data access challenge by delivering a platform (Image 2) into which data is automatically refreshed from all source systems and aggregated for analytics. Our technology and standardized processes ensure data accuracy and data availability by creating a single source of dependable information all across the business.
Image 2. Information and data from all departments are collected into a single area – the Viewics Analytics Platform. The Viewics Analytics Platform works as the front-end tool with various reporting packages. The data from departments are standardized to common data elements so that analytics can be performed with a unified language.
The Viewics Analytics Platform enables organizations to leverage their existing investments in reporting tools by serving as a single data platform for data systems that were once incongruent. Our expertise in the laboratory business combined with our analytics technology solves the data access and analytics challenge for the end user without having to rely on IT. Business users can analyze trends, anomalies and relationships across clinical, financial and operational data, all within a single system. Resources are freed up to focus on making better business decisions with the data, instead of struggling to gain access to the data.
Access to Data across Multiple Departments
A longitudinal patient database is the key to clinical decision support. Aggregating data across the continuum of care helps provides insight into risks and opportunities in a patient’s care. When healthcare providers make care decisions, they can identify and measure changes or trends from multiple aspects of a patient’s health care. For example, a patient requires a periodic HbA1c test to check if his/her diabetes is under control. The provider and pharmacy department prescribe a particular drug or treatment to that patient. By getting data for test results in the laboratory and prescription information from the pharmacy, organizations can track the medication efficacy for patients over a period of time.
With Viewics, leaders are able to see the ‘big picture’ within and across multiple departments. Viewics can provide a view of a patient’s diagnostic results, in conjunction with treatments delivered by pharmaceutical departments. By looking at the relationship between these events, providers can determine better care protocol or identify patient adherence issues. Providers can build upon that tracking analysis and gain insight to whether or not that particular drug may be effective for that patient because of their previous medical or drug history kept within the EMR. Providers can now recommend treatments that may be better customized to their patient’s individual health. Empowered with information across multiple departments, providers can truly provide better quality and personalized patient care.