How Big Data In The OR Saved One Health System Nearly $10 Million Last Year

Big data has been a buzzword in the healthcare industry for the past few years, but more often than not, the benefits of big data have been hard to quantify. Not so for St. Louis, Missouri-based Mercy health system.  Mercy has recently turned big data findings in the perioperative area of their hospitals into savings of $9.42 million in just one year.

Mercy has turned to data analytics to help it better understand scheduling and implant utilization in the perioperative area.  By turning to a data analytics stack from SAP, Mercy has delved deep into their OR data to help gain new insights that can drive efficiencies.  This interview found at Fierce Healthcare by Gienna Shaw summarizes an interview with Mercy’s CMIO Dr. Todd Stewart and data analytics specialist Jamie Oswald:

“FierceHealthcare: What’s the biggest difference between your old system and the new one?

Oswald: It’s really fast. What sets it apart is that in the old world you had to pre-aggregate everything. Now we can redefine measures, dimensions at the transaction level, and roll it up into whatever level is appropriate. The power of that is that we can then, from that high-level dashboard, drill into it and get all the way down. Transparency has helped us, as a provider, to get a lot of credibility.

FH: How so?

Stewart: The difficulty with users, especially the clinicians, is getting them to operate better. One of the first things they want to know is what the data means and whether they can trust it. The only way we can answer those questions is by having really good governance of the data. At the concept level that we understand what it is we’re talking about and to define that concept. That may sound simple. But mapping the data on the backside, we might have to resolve three or four different data sources that may have to be mapped and remapped in the background. We have to do that in a well-governed manner. And that gives your data reliability.”

Read the entire article here: HIMSS 2017: Mercy health system uses big data to cut millions in surgical costs

Making sure that data going into your analytics system is accurate and reliable is a huge driver of the ultimate benefits gained from big data.  As the article continues to explain, a “garbage-in, garbage-out” mentality is required to maintain the trust of physicians with whom the data is being shared.  Hospitals can turn to systems like iRISupply from Mobile Aspects to ensure high fidelity on the front end by using advanced data capture technologies like RFID.  By guaranteeing high quality data on the front end, systems like Mercy are able to dig deep into the data with high confidence and drive multi-million dollar savings through their organization.