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● Analytics

Making the leap to real-time

analytics Hunterdon Healthcare implements a new decision-support system. By Glenn Mamary


ike many integrated delivery networks (IDNs), Hunterdon Healthcare System has worked over the years with a varied group of software products developed to provide the business intelligence and analytics needed for optimal decision making. T e inevitable result has been generation of highly user-friendly dashboard graphics that are exceedingly attractive but of very limited practical use.

What happens between application concept and delivery into the healthcare environment? Without any exception, these decision support-system (DSS) products require storing information on a separate database, external to the applica- tion, and then running batch jobs every night that copy the data to the dashboard database for viewing. As a result, the information that appears on the dashboards is often out of date, fragmented and incomplete. Despite these less-than-optimal results, multiple driving

forces combined to ensure that the search continue for the right DSS technology – one that enabled rapid development and delivered information in real-time mode. Earlier this year, Hunterdon began the rollout of a new hospital performance- management (HPM) system that utilizes InterSystems’ Deep- See embedded real-time analytics technology. Based on early results and end-user feedback, this system succeeds where previous DSS approaches failed in delivering the in-depth, easily usable information Hunterdon needs to address expand- ing reporting requirements and support optimal care delivery.

Driving the search for real-time analytics

Based in Flemington, N.J., the fl agship of the Hunterdon IDN is the Hunterdon Medical Center, a 178-bed teaching hospital that provides a full range of preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic health services. Hunterdon treats more than 8,600 in-patients annually, with 33,000 emergency department visits

16 February 2013

Glenn Mamary is vice president and CIO at Hunterdon Healthcare. For more on

InterSystems: www.

and more than 292,000 outpatient visits per year. Typical of many hospital facilities, Hunterdon has taken a best-of-breed approach when selecting and implementing healthcare technology solutions. As a result, the IT department supports a variety of applications with hundreds of interfaces from multiple vendors, making it a major challenge to normal- ize data across systems and view information in a timely way. In this scenario, viewing information at a strategic level required a manual process where staff members were charged with pulling data from multiple ap- plications and build- ing spread- sheets that combined relevant data to provide a high-level view. T e growing demand for information at a strategic level was a major driver behind our ongoing search for a new DSS application. And that demand is coming from personnel in all organizational areas, including clinicians, administrators, fi nancial specialists and C-suite executives. Adding to the challenge is that reporting at local, state and

The main roadblocks to successful implementation of real-time analytics – as is true of many enterprise- scale systems – come from people rather than from technology.

federal levels is becoming more complex than ever. Hunterdon, for example, receives report requests from 29 external agencies. T e large number of information requests streaming in from government entities tests our reporting capabilities from the perspective of sheer volume. Just as critical is the fact that data defi nition is by no means consistent in the area of regulatory reporting. For example, one measure often applied to surgi- cal processes is the amount of time required for a particular procedure. While one agency may be asking for the time


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