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Microsoft Interview – BI & Health Analytics are Critical to ACOs

population health
As a healthcare organization, being able to easily locate and capture information is critical when it comes to providing quality patient care and maintaining the financial health of the business.
For accountable care organizations (ACOs), managing population health successfully requires the gathering of insights that comes only from a combination of data – data from outside the organization, as well as clinical, operational and financial data that’s internal.
Last week, Dr. Dennis Schmuland, Chief Health Strategy Officer, U.S. Health and Life Sciences at Microsoft, interviewed Christine Bessler, CIO at ProHealth Care, on how the organization stood up an enterprise data warehouse (EDW) to provide value based care, reduce superfluous costs, and diminish the need for costly care. Using EPIC’s Cogito data warehouse as their EDW foundation, ProHealth Care was able to combine clinical, financial, and operational data across 15 primary care clinics, three hospitals, home health care, home hospice service, and long-term care facilities with outside data sources to meet the current needs of their ACO.  Read the full interview here.
Better together: How ProHealth was the first to stand up EPIC’s Cogito data warehouse in a production environment, and how they’ve extended Cogito with Microsoft BI tools…

Bessler: When we made the decision for our ACO to be part of the MSSP Program, we knew we had to also make an organizational commitment to develop a long-term strategic BI roadmap that we could implement in manageable phases, based on our health system’s stage of maturity. To accelerate time-to-benefit, we knew we had to find the most expedient and cost-effective way to maximally leverage our existing investments in EPIC, as well as our other technologies. We needed to extract and integrate EPIC data with data from a myriad of non-EPIC systems, including our operational data and financial data, as well as external data sources like Medicare claims and HCAHPS scores.

With a scope of that magnitude, we knew that complexity would be the biggest threat to our vision and budget. After an extensive evaluation process to consider all the alternatives, we chose Microsoft’s BI stack and tools because of their simplicity, interoperability, and familiarity to both financial and clinical frontline teams. By adding simple and familiar tools like SharePoint 2013, Excel, Power Pivot and PowerQuery to Cogito, we were able to fulfill our vision to make BI self-service. This enabled us to empower executives and frontline employees and clinicians to turn a sea of otherwise blinding data into actionable insights within the context of their day-to-day workflow.


One question that came up was how did ProHealth Care stand up the EDW in record time (six months)?

Bessler: When you’re an integrated delivery system made up of many semi-autonomous facilities, you have to engage every facility in the vision, design and future governance of your EDW program. To do that, we knew our best choice would be to partner with a national-scale systems integrator that would be accountable to help weave a multitude of loose ends into a unified strategic plan, a future-proof architecture, implement the plan, train and support the users, and roll out each subsequent phase. We ultimately chose Perficient because of their broad expertise across our existing application portfolio and because of their specialized expertise in Microsoft’s BI stack and tools. There was one other area of expertise that Perficient brought to the table that was mission-critical for us—the skill they brought to help us build our physician profiles, which is how we empower our physicians to view their performance anytime across their quality metrics and identify gaps in care among their patients.

If you’d like to learn more about Perficient’s work with ProHealth Care and how the organization is innovative in population health management, check out the case study.

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