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Using Analytics to Assess the Impact of COVID-19

Quick facts:

Organization: Saratoga Hospital
Industry: Healthcare
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Net Revenues: $435 Million
EHR: MEDITECH
Beds: 171
Customer since: 2010
Website: www.saratogahospital.org
Solution: Diver Platform®

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Dimensional Insight’s Diver Platform enabled Saratoga Hospital to quickly develop dashboards to help it understand the impact of COVID-19 within its four walls.
  • Diver Platform will also be used to understand service volumes, outcomes, and financials as the hospital reopens its elective services.
  • Data governance features allow users at Saratoga Hospital to be confident in the numbers and ensure the definitions of measures are being understood in a consistent manner across the hospital.

Background

Saratoga Hospital is located in Saratoga County. It is part of the Albany Med Health System, which is comprised of four hospitals in the Greater Capital region. Part of the hospital’s vision is to be a high-quality and high-service provider known for its timely acquisition of cutting-edge technology.
Saratoga Hospital has been a Dimensional Insight customer since 2010. It uses Dimensional Insight’s Diver Platform in a variety of ways throughout the organization in order to gain value from data to make more informed and impactful decisions.

The Challenge

When COVID-19 hit the United States in early 2020, New York State was especially impacted. While Saratoga Hospital was outside of the hardest-hit areas in New York, the hospital had to quickly prepare for a potential surge of patients, as well as to accommodate COVID-19 patients relocated from hospitals in New York City. As CMS and third-party payer regulations were changing rapidly, it was imperative for hospital leadership to have a tool that could easily identify and monitor the COVID-19 patient mix throughout the system.

Saratoga Hospital has a wealth of data housed in its MEDITECH EHR system. The challenge was how to be able to harness that data to make quick, impactful decisions in the midst of a pandemic.

The Goal

Saratoga Hospital wanted to create an analytics dashboard that would allow its leadership to view the most critical COVID-19 metrics for its organization. These would include:

  • Total visits, admissions, length of stay
  • Total tests administered to total tests billed
  • Specimen collection charges to COVID-19 test charges
  • Insurance and other demographic information

In addition, as the hospital started to reopen, it wanted to understand service volumes and be able to stratify the data by provider, practice location, payer, etc. to see where it could make improvements and maintain profitability in the difficult climate ahead.

The Results

Because of the flexibility and ease of use of Diver Platform, Saratoga Hospital was able to quickly develop the dashboards it wanted to meet the needs of its leadership. These dashboards helped users track and manage the flow of financial transactions related to the COVID-19 patients.

“We were able to put the dashboards together pretty quickly,” says Rabin Kayastha, decision support and BI coordinator at Saratoga Hospital. “The Dimensional Insight platform gives us the flexibility to build what we need in a timely manner, and adjust if need be, given the changing circumstances.”

In addition, Diver Platform provides Saratoga Hospital with the data governance to ensure that data is being used in a consistent manner across the organization. Users have access to a measure library so they can see the definition of each measure and know that they are talking about information — such as an “admission” — in the same way that their colleagues are.

What’s Next

While Saratoga Hospital did not end up seeing a huge surge of COVID-19 inpatients in the first wave, the hospital did have to postpone elective procedures to both build up surge capacity and keep patients safe. As the hospital restores these procedures, analytics will play a critical role in helping executives understand which services are most in-demand, what the outcomes are, and how the services impact the hospital’s financials.

Michael Wallner, director of managed care, decision support, and revenue cycle at Saratoga Hospital, says Diver will be used to look at service volumes and drill down into the details. “The key to Diver is to have these dashboards and be able to drill down immediately to different levels of detail to see where your opportunities are.”

Overall, Diver Platform provides Saratoga Hospital with a complete analytics platform that can be quickly and easily used to tackle a variety of challenges across the organization.

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