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Sentara Healthcare Improves Operation with SAP HANA

Since going live in November 2015, Sentara Healthcare has leveraged SAP HANA to assist with scheduling appointments, optimizing ordering patterns, and running deep-dive analytics to improve operating room areas. Sentara is part of the SAP-Epic user group.

Sentara Healthcare is a 126 year-old not-for-profit integrated healthcare system based in Norfolk, Virginia. The organization operates over 100 sites of care, including 12 acute care hospitals, most of which leverage Epic electronic health records.

Prior to its SAP HANA purchase, Sentara had no SAP HANA experience. However, SAP hosts a user group of other SAP HANA customers that also run Epic solutions. The group serves as an exchange for best practices, troubleshooting, and innovative ideas.

Since going live in November 2015, Sentara has leveraged SAP HANA to assist with:

  • Scheduling appointments
  • Optimizing ordering patterns
  • Running deep-dive analytics to improve operating room areas.

Appointment Scheduling

Sentara schedules over two million patients a year. The organization sought a solution that would work well for providers and also eliminate the need to aggregate the scheduling data.

With SAP HANA, Sentara can view data entries dating back 10 years as opposed to the former two-year view. The organization can dive into the data at any level of detail needed: viewing appointment scheduling and times, cancellations, and no-show rates.

Optimizing Ordering

The physicians within Sentara's organization order over 19 million items per year. In the future, Sentara sees that number growing by three to four million more orders per year. To analyze buying trends and orders for different procedures and treatments, Sentara required more advanced technology. The basic solution would not work for such a large amount of data.

With SAP HANA, Sentara can examine the outcomes of physicians who use order sets verses those who do not.

The organization realized that older physicians tended to avoid the use of order sets, whereas new residents and doctors utilized order sets as a safety net. Sentara hopes to find trends in what doctors are ordering outside of order sets that can instead be streamlined to optimize efficiency.

Analyzing Operating Room Trends

To view operating room information in as little detail or as much detail as needed, Sentara leveraged SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence for Mobile with the SAP HANA Platform running on the back-end.

The system allows operating room directors and physicians to easily "slice and dice" the data as needed: searching through and filtering the data sets, analyzing trends to save on costs, and improving patient outcomes.

Lessons Learned

To input all 100 million Sentara patient records into the SAP HANA system, Sentara prepositioned the data as opposed to entering it in raw. The organization was really interested in the parent data, so they normalized it as they moved it into the SAP HANA data sets.

Anderson explained that if the organization was to do the data migration again, they would be sure to deep dive into additional areas.

Future Plans

The State of Virginia released a data set of all state-wide payer claims. With the SAP HANA solution, Sentara will compare its providers and claims against the provider claims of other payers with the exception of Medicare.

In addition, the organization plans to analyze ambulatory operations and things like infection rates of surgical procedures and the length of time patients stay in the hospital.

To learn how SAP HANA can optimize your business, click here.

For more stories follow me @Cmdonato and on LinkedIn.

This story originally appeared in SAP Business Trends on SCN.

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