northbay healthcare

Improve Operational Performance with Speedy Time-To-Information For Executives

Quick Facts
Organization: NorthBay Healthcare
Customer Since: 2008
Employees: 1,800
Industry: Healthcare
Description: NorthBay Healthcare is a non-profit, community provider organization serving the residents of Solano County, California. It has a 50-year tradition of providing hospital and community services that are offered by no other healthcare provider in the region. For emergency care to surgery and specialty services, thou- sands of people in Solano County rely on NorthBay Healthcare for compas- sionate care, advanced medicine, close to home.
Headquarters: Solano County, CA
Website: www.northbay.org
Solution: Diver Platform


“The web-based navigation is much more simplistic so there isn’t much of a learning curve for our users to conquer.”
– Paul Alcala, Vice President and Chief Information Officer


NorthBay Healthcare deployed Dimensional Insight’s dashboard, reporting and analytics suite, Diver Platform™ (Diver), over a year ago in response to requests from their senior leadership team for timely access to standard reports on key operational metrics. For the past few years NorthBay’s focus had been on implementing and deploying world-class health information systems. The health system had scores of data and now needed to focus on creating an information delivery system that allowed executives to leverage this data and make decisions that better impacted care quality, productivity, and financial and operational initiatives in a timely manner.

Paul Alcala, NorthBay’s Vice President and Chief Information Officer, wanted to push the organization forward by deploying a business intelligence (BI) solution that supported the concept of data-driven decision making. “The need for timely access to data is an essential component of making informed decisions,” explains Alcala, “By deploying BI solutions that are flexible enough to bring our disparate source systems together into a single reporting and analysis platform we can begin the process of becoming a proactive organization instead of a reactive one.” NorthBay integrates data from multiple sources such as Cerner for clinical information, patient, census, and registration data; Lawson for payroll and human resources information; Keane for billing and accounts receivable data; Midas+ for operational metrics; and Kronos for workforce management. Alcala knew the key to driving performance improvements throughout the health system was having the ability to not only merge these disparate sources, but also to provide users with timely access to the data housed in each of these systems in a simplistic, intuitive way. By working with a team of twelve executives in the project’s initial phase, Alcala and his team created dashboard views of operational KPIs which consist of about 25 report views within four critical categories — each of which are directly tied to operational performance:

  1. Operating Statistics
  2. Revenue Analysis
  3. Staffing and Workload
  4. Diagnosis-Related Group (DRG)

“There are more options for the graphical representation of the data which helps us communicate trends and exceptions in a way that everyone can easily recognize, instantly understand, and act upon.”
– Paul Alcala, Vice President and Chief Information Officer


Providing executives with an easy way to monitor operational KPIs in a timely manner was a key selection criterion for NorthBay. “At one time the reports that were delivered to upper management were completely outdated compared to the process that is in place today with Dimensional Insight,” explains Becky Caine, Senior Systems Analyst at NorthBay. “The information on reports could have been up to three weeks old and in some instances, non-existent.” Dimensional Insight’s newest release, gave NorthBay a much needed solution by providing a single web-based interface for information delivery that was easy for non-technical users to access and utilize without the need for IS/IT intervention. Using Diver, NorthBay was able to design and deploy customized views of operational metrics for each member of the Senior Management Group. Users were no longer subjected to static report views of stale information but now had the ability to access operational KPIs and then ‘dive’ into more detailed levels of data — all within the same portal-based interface — to identify root causes or better assess and understand trends within the data.

One major factor that contributed to the project’s success was the overall ease of use of the product suite — both from an end user and administrative perspective. “The usability of the product lent itself to expanding the project scope almost immediately. It is so easy for us to integrate data and then push subsets of information out to our users that I keep adding more views for our users to access,” admits NorthBay’s CIO, Paul Alcala. “We just recently added three new report views to monitor patients in our Emergency Department by acuity level. The fact that we can roll this out so quickly — from concept to deliverable — speaks to the flexibility inherent within this new release.”

According to Alcala, the reason NorthBay’s BI initiative has been so widely accepted stems from the fact that users not only have better visibility into organizational performance metrics but also because new features have made the product more user-friendly, especially for users at the executive level. Alcala explains, “The web-based navigation is much more simplistic so there isn’t much of a learning curve for our users to conquer. There are more options for the graphical representation of the data which helps us communicate trends and exceptions in a way that everyone can easily recognize, instantly understand, and act upon.”

Future plans include providing an additional 40 director-level users with access to Dimensional Insight’s BI platform for real-time access to data specific to their role. Alcala hopes to use BI technology to create a paradigm shift that uses data accessibility to drive accountability for performance initiatives across the organization. “I am really looking forward to the gradual evolution from data collection and distribution to data analysis,” says Alcala. “Our users can be successful with this product. By giving them the ability to access information that impacts their area of responsibility they can actually make decisions proactively.” Users at the director-level will have access to Dimensional Insight’s portal interface, DivePort, and will also be supported by its powerful ad hoc analytics capabilities within the NetDiver interface allowing all dashboard, reporting and analytics requirements to be satisfied within a single tool set enterprise-wide.

Challenges

  • Create a dashboard of operational KPI’s for use by senior management
  • Integrate multiple systems into a single framework allowing for quicker access to information
  • Provide users with an individual view of information pertinent to their role within the organization
  • Promote individual ownership of the reporting process and empower users to become proactive decision makers by providing timely access to information

 

Results

  • Reduce the amount of time to obtain business-critical information by provid- ing instant access to KPI’s in a dashboard interface
  • Use BI technology to establish an organiza- tional culture focused around data-driven decision making
  • Utilize a phased deployment approach to rapidly achieve ROI at the project level to better manage total cost of ownership