Securely and Efficiently Transforming the Healthcare Industry with Cloud Technologies
You may have heard the term “digital transformation,” but what does it mean to transform a business? How can you maintain a competitive advantage, keep customers happy, and meet the bottom line?
It all comes down to data.
During the Digital Transformation Storytelling session, HVR’s Account Executive, CJ Oordt, and Will Grey, Managing Director of Customer Success at Teknion discussed how cloud technologies and real-time data help healthcare companies better prepare for disruptions, protect their bottom line, and ultimately provide the best care for patients. Here are a few highlights from the session.
Common Challenges in the Healthcare Industry
Disparate Data Sources
When hospitals and healthcare systems operate with many different sources of data, many challenges can arise. If data is not collected correctly or is very unclean, it can result in data issues such as patient duplication. To illustrate, if you have a John Smith and a J. Smith in the database, how do you know if it’s the same person?
Operating with many data sources also affects population health. How can the medical community work together to increase the overall health of specific areas without accurate data on food deserts, socioeconomic factors, and other clinical information? How do you get this data to be actionable on the front lines?
One of Teknion’s key clients is a data aggregator in pediatrics. They collect information from many different hospital EMRs. Since each hospital has various data fields, the client had to do manual work to ensure the data was consistent. This was very time-consuming, and they had an expensive legacy system that didn’t automate processes.
The client struggled with patient duplication and data integrity. Teknion provided the client with a solution to automate processes, including procedures to automate quality assurance. As a result of the automation, the data aggregator no longer had to worry about the data quality or the overall wellness of the data assets as it flows through the organization.
Secure Data Transfer
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, HVR engaged with a hospital system that was interested in building a cloud data warehouse to better predict inpatient and outpatient numbers. The hospital system’s IT team worked on this project for years with several different groups. As a result, the efforts became a tangled assortment of technologies.
The IT team wanted to invest in Snowflake’s cloud data platform because of its predictive modeling. Not only did they have to modernize their data warehouse, but they needed a solution to get the data into the data warehouse. A free ETL tool wasn’t going to efficiently handle the massive data volumes.
Many hospital systems face the challenge of finding a modern solution that seamlessly integrates with legacy systems and cloud platforms to securely move data and transform the analytics environment. Fortunately, HVR was designed to integrate with a variety of on-premise and cloud-based platforms, so the hospital system had no trouble replicating data into Snowflake.
Important Considerations for the Healthcare Industry
HIPAA and the security of PHI (personal health information) are primary considerations in healthcare. Providers and payers have to remain vigilant of this data. In the dark web, PHI formations are the number one most expensive pieces of information that transacts. Therefore, it’s imperative to make sure the data is secure, controlled, and accessible to the right people at the right time.
Another primary consideration is data governance. How do you make sure that data flows seamlessly and is easily accessible? As healthcare organizations digitally transform, they have to consolidate thousands of data flows and define how data assets are used. Often, different departments have different needs.
As a result, business rules must be defined. For example, a payer who is doing actuarial science on a claim may define success differently than someone who is in sales. Governance is not about applying additional rules but making sure the right rules are in the right place and streamlining access for leaders to make the appropriate decisions faster.
Real-Time Data Accessibility
In many cases, organizations in the healthcare industry will sacrifice data governance, data integrity, or security for the speed of real-time data access. Healthcare organizations choose to work with HVR because they don’t have to compromise. With HVR, IT teams have full control and data oversight. Data is encrypted as it moves across the wire to ensure that it’s accurately and quickly delivered to the target destination.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, real-time data access became more critical than ever before. Healthcare leaders had to make quick decisions, like whether or not to turn an entire hospital wing into a makeshift ICU and how and where to mobilize essential resources.
Using Cloud Technologies in Healthcare
In their digital transformation process, a hospital system decided to move forward with HVR for data integration, Talend for ETL and data governance, and Tableau for reporting. Since HVR is built for heterogeneous, high-volume data replication, the hospital system was able to quickly and securely integrate data from their Oracle sources into Snowflake’s cloud data platform.
The hospital system had everything up and running in time to use Talend and Tableau to develop predictive modeling specific to COVID-19. With COVID-19 data flowing into the analytics environment in real-time, the team could conduct analysis, predict hospital needs, and provide solutions accordingly.
Using modern technologies can not only provide extensive, real-time data and analytics, it can also save time. Going back to the pediatric data aggregator, by adopting a modern system and leveraging automated processes, analysts didn’t have to waste time on data quality assurance.
For every business, for every kind of facet of healthcare, there are going to be different priorities. It’s important to figure out what’s best for your organization. Once you have a clear idea, look into modern technologies that can support your business requirements. Many take the Lego block approach by building a foundation with one technology and adding or replacing technologies as the business evolves.
If you have difficulty aligning technologies with business needs, executive workshops, and design thinking sessions can help. Also, Teknion’s strategic data assessments can help you in developing a roadmap and strategic maturity model for success.
It takes many groups within an organization to digitally transform. Thomas Davenport’s analogy sums it up perfectly, “Technology is the engine, data is the fuel, the process is the guidance system, and organizational change capability is the landing gear. You need them all, and they all must function well together.”
If your organization is in the process of digitally transforming with cloud technologies, please reach out to HVR. We’re happy to discuss how HVR can help accelerate data delivery to your desired destination.