Remark: This case study will be of interest to all of those who want to share benchmark information through a BI extranet, and who need to pull and push data from different data sources wherever they may be.
The healthcare business in Belgium, mainly university and public hospitals, has been able to benchmark its performances without jeopardising confidentiality and security.
The idea behind the non-profit organisation, C.I.B.E.S. (Centre Interdisciplinaire de Benchmarking en économie et Santéinter university and general hospitals association , is to gather performance data centrally and then allow each healthcare business to compare itself to other members of the organisation – the roughly 60 odd hospitals (both university and general) that so far, have signed up to be part of the programme.
Belgian hospitals, like many others around the world, have been facing cuts to their budgets meaning that they have to do more with less. Pressure from the Ministry of Health to meet set targets for the treatment of certain pathologies in terms of overnight stays in the hospital for example, has increased the need to know and monitor just how long a typical procedure or illness takes in a hospital and how other hospitals are coping with these targets.
“The platform is intuitive enough that our users don’t need informatics knowledge”. Emeritus Prof. M-C Closon, in health economics
The right data at the right dosage
Well versed in Business Intelligence techniques, Agilos became involved early in the process helping C.I.B.E.S. locate the precise information from each of the hospitals to deliver this benchmarking service. From the beginning, the aim was clear … the solution had to be accessible and easy to use. It was, for example, important that both healthcare professionals and the managing staff at the hospitals were able to easily use and consult the available information particularly as previous efforts to gather data had been too complicated leading to an inadequate and low adoption rate by the hospitals. With the Agilos and Qlik solution, C.I.B.E.S. manage the access rights themselves giving those who use the report (healthcare managers and doctors) the information they need in an accessible and easy format, thereby letting them do the respective healthcare work that they are paid to do.
The data – coming from a variety of different sources and systems - also had to remain anonymous, so that no hospital would ever feel that their confidential information was being compromised. It meant defining just the right levels of data in terms of the collection and what detail would be exposed as part of the benchmarking exercise. With Qlik technology and Agilos expertise, this is guaranteed.
“The spread of information is unlimited, every collaborator of the hospital being able to connect and visualize info”. Emeritus Prof. M-C Closon in health economics
Start with the problem
It’s important to understand the business issues of the problem before collecting any data: on one side, the hospital management was obliged to be compliant to certain government defined indicators, while on the other there were doctors and healthcare professionals with other more important goals, namely the health and well-being of the patients. Add to this the linguistic divide in the country, and it was a complicated puzzle to unpack and assemble. The fact that a solution had to be found quickly just added to the pressure, after all with society changing faster than ever, it was vital that the latest business intelligence was delivered quickly and accurately so that decisions could be made with the most up-to-date information possible. Fortunately Agilos’ expertise and the Qlik Analytics Platform could quickly and easily handle the different sources of data and aggregate them into one central benchmarking database with ease.
Agilos works from the bottom up … it starts with a good understanding of the business issues and then builds the technical infrastructure around a defined problem, making it scalable, easy to use, and secure, with just the right level of detailed information required.
Agilos worked closely on this project with CIBES and his hospitals medical and financial experts.