Laying the foundation for analytics
East Health’s data capability today means that they can be leaders in the sector. “It has taken many years to get to this point and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the organisation’s board and executive management. It is an investment which started with a proof of concept. The board immediately saw the potential and the value of having quality data that would allow improved health care decision making. We have been developing it over time to the point where it is today: a great foundation for analytics which sets the scene for anything from ad hoc reports, through to regular reporting for management, District Health Board (DHB) and the Ministry, as well as routine insights into the health status of the patients we care for.”
Enhanced reporting capabilities
Flexibility is a valuable feature of the solution. “The reports required by the Ministry and District Health Boards change from year to year; that’s now no problem for us in terms of our reporting capability. With the data warehouse, we have all the data and we can find it right away.”
East Health’s system provides the ability to accurately assess different healthcare needs and provide targeted services based on different demographics of the population: for example, certain ethnic groups have higher prevalence of diabetes or cardiovascular related diseases. Securing funding for this, or any other specific purpose, from DHB or the Ministry is far more likely when real data is presented as a motivator. “When you can present decision-makers with information, it justifies the funding. You go from anecdotal observations to the facts based on data,” Janssen notes.
Moving towards data-driven storytelling
With the help of NOW Consulting, East Health is in the process of rolling out the next phase of its information delivery platform: Qlik business intelligence and visualisation software. “Right now, there are several spreadsheet-based reports which are ‘fed’ by data from the data warehouse, which means we can repeat what we are doing, which makes it rapid and predictable. But as we move towards better visualisations, Qlik will enable data-driven storytelling,” Janssen says.
Moreover, she says future delivery of data insights with Qlik will allow them to combine data sets for new insights, something it is already doing. “We can add information from the accounting system if we want. Or we include extra data sets such as files from the Ministry. This gives us a view of the patient’s journey through the health system, it provides the ability to explore ways of getting more information from the data.”
Bringing together data from multiple sources
She says the ability to easily capture and use data from multiple practices and sources is a nut that East Health has cracked with the help of NOW Consulting. “We believe that other health providers see our achievement as something to aspire to. When, for example, the DHB asks if people are screened for alcohol consumption, we can answer within hours. In the past, it was very hard to respond as the data wasn’t available – now, we can quickly pull together the information.”
“The board and CEO can see the benefits of our investment and are thrilled with the result. It takes time and cost, but they saw and understood the value to the business and today, we’re seeing the benefits of that vision.”