Even after successfully deploying electronic medical records, Texas Children's Hospital struggled to accurately identify ways in which it could improve efficiency, effectiveness and health services delivery. The challenge was combining the gold mine of data in the EMR system with data from financial and administrative systems.
In 2011, TCH took a step toward addressing that challenge when it deployed a healthcare-specific enterprise data warehouse that draws data from nine hospital systems, including the EMR repository. It then applied a sophisticated analytic technique called Pareto analysis to identify areas where changes would produce the most significant improvements.
On the clinical front, the hospital was able to reduce the average length of stay for asthma patients by 11 hours. And in the administrative arena, giving health providers and managers direct access to data visualizations and reports yielded a 67% reduction in report generation costs. Overall, Texas Children's realized $4.5 million in direct benefits in the first year after deployment of the analytics-powered project.
Among other things, "we found that collection of data in the EMR provided an opportunity to review data by disease and see how we could influence care from an outcomes and cost perspective," says CIO Myra Davis. "The clinical leadership created 10 different clinical programs to determine ways to enhance care."
Additionally, the project enables TCH to aggregate data on populations of children with like diseases so it can better understand how its healthcare delivery is affecting all children in the region with that disease, notes Dr. Charles Macias, chief clinical systems integration officer.
"Now," Macias says, "decisions for effective management can be done across a healthcare system with relative ease in identifying the outcomes of our efforts."