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Savvy new analytics offer EMHS advanced planning capabilities

Just think about the amount of data we routinely generate and collect on ourselves. We track how much we sleep or exercise, what we spend in a month on groceries, how many grams of sugar we consume in a day (especially when we sneak a cookie at lunch), to even our spiritual well-being—it can all be categorized, measured, shared, and displayed. We create a digital reflection of ourselves that reveals the reality between our perceived and our actual behaviors. However, the data also gives us an opportunity to course correct if we veer off the path to our better selves. Similarly, organizations like EMHS greatly benefit from tracking and marrying all its self-generated data to more clearly understand how we deliver care. What if using our data could improve the patient experience, help managers staff smarter, predict patient volume, or test the viability of a new service for our patients, like tele-primary care? That’s exactly where we are headed.

If you are responsible for a department budget, you’ve likely worked with the EMHS Financial Planning and Decision Support team led by manager, Randy Albert. This team is responsible for the system budget coordination, consolidation, reporting, and tracking, but that is only a portion of what they can (and will) provide for you.
Allscripts EPSi, where budgets are built, will be enhanced with other complimentary EPSi platforms in the coming months to ultimately create a suite of integrated analytics. “These new platforms (described in the column to the right) will pull together data from places like the general ledger, payroll, accounts payable, API (time and attendance), billing, electronic medical records, payer contracts, and will even integrate quality and patient safety benchmarks to help us better understand how our clinical data ties in with our cost and quality,” explains Randy.

The result will mean real-time, operational and financial statistics consistently defined and reported from all EMHS members, and displayed through user-friendly dashboards and customizable reports for leaders at all levels across the system. This data will enable users to view cost, productivity, and other key measurements about their department by diagnosis code, payer, specialty, and a variety of other data fields.

Tony Filer, EMHS senior vice president and chief financial officer explains, “We only have so much control over external influences and the changing regulatory environment affecting our industry. To bring high quality, affordable care to our patients means being more nimble in the decision making process and perfecting our day-to-day operations. With the enhancements to EPSi, we will better understand if we are staffing correctly, operating cost-effectively, optimizing financial performance, and achieving our strategic goals.”

In the near future, all leaders with access to EPSi will have a dashboard view of their departments for which they already have access. These users will see financial ratios, key performance indicators, financial performance, productivity, and more. No training will be necessary to view the dashboard going forward, as it will automatically appear on the opening screen of the EPSi web application. The EMHS Financial Planning and Decision Support team will be ready to assist leaders with understanding the data and help leverage this new information in the decision making process.

Randy’s sense of relief that these tool are nearly ready to launch is tangible—getting to this point has been a journey. “Creating these new analytic tools required a lot of work and perseverance. The staff of EMHS Financial Planning and Decision Support, EMHS IS Integration and Data Management, and EMMC Financial Planning brought this project from idea to reality. Their complete support of, and dedication to this project, has made all of the difference—this has truly been a team effort.”

Tim Dentry, EMHS senior vice president and chief operating officer knows this data will help shape our improvement priorities for the future. “Making smart decisions about department operations, or an entire healthsystem, requires a panoramic view—seeing how the parts (labor, supplies, patient demand, etc.) fit together to get the big picture. With these tools in place, we enable the organization to better meet the challenging financial environment of healthcare today and to prepare for the future.