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North York General Hospital Selects IBM Business Analytics To Improve Quality Of Patient Care

Thursday, January 20, 2011

North York General Hospital and IBM today launched an initiative to improve patient care and hospital efficiency using new analytics software which gathers patient and business data from across the organization and presents it in real-time to doctors, administrators and certain hospital staff.

The analytics system enables decision-makers to better assess trends and adjust operations to meet patient demands and achieve strategic business goals. Administrators can track how long a patient waited in the Emergency room or how effectively the beds were utilized and directors, managers and supervisors will be able to run reports and queries to drill further into some of these activities.  In the long-term with the new system, NYGH doctors will have a 360-degree view of a patient’s clinical treatment patterns and outcomes.

“North York General Hospital seeks every opportunity to provide the best patient and family health-care experience possible,” says Maria Muia, director of health information, decision support and privacy at North York General Hospital. “IBM’s new analytics system enables us to track key performance indicators in real-time, which in turn helps healthcare decision-makers quickly notice changes in trends, and if necessary, use that information to make a change in practices, programs and services that will benefit patients, the hospital and the health care system as a whole.”

NYGH, a multi-site community teaching hospital in Toronto, is the first Canadian hospital to implement this type of comprehensive healthcare analytics approach from IBM, joining the Mayo Clinic, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, Premier Health Alliance and others who have employed advanced analytics tools to improve patient care.

“There are growing pressures on hospitals to treat patients more efficiently and perform at higher levels, and that demands improved decision-making by applying advanced analytics,” said Barry Burk, IBM’s vice-president, heathcare industry. “Smarter health systems such as the one NYGH is implementing analyze information to meet the changing needs of the organization, improve performance and ultimately deliver greater value to the patient.”

Previously, NYGH measured performance at a corporate level within the facility, but it was challenging to analyze that information on a unit-by-unit basis.  The process was constrained by manual, labour-intensive processes.  

IBM optimized the InfoSphere Clinical Analytics system to handle data-intensive workloads. Data from more than 50 diverse collection points, dispersed among a dozen internal systems across the hospital’s three sites, is digitized and consolidated into a common format in a central data warehouse. Advanced analytics is then applied to produce a simple, easy-to-read, Web-based graphical picture of the hospital’s clinical, financial and administrative performance. The system runs on IBM Power Systems, which are designed to analyze massive amounts of data in real time. This is another example of IBM's leadership in providing workload optimized systems that deliver integrated systems, software and storage for analyzing vast amounts of complex data.  

“Internal and external demand for data and information has increased tremendously over the past few years,” says Janak Jass, vice-president of strategy and organizational performance at North York General Hospital. “Each day we are challenged with responding to various needs for data and information. We pride ourselves on being a learning organization, but to sustain such a culture, we needed to have a structure that enables us to understand, learn from our actions, and identify areas for performance improvement quickly and easily.”

The province of Ontario has announced it intends to change the way hospitals are funded, which could lead to more money for those facilities that provide more cost-effective patient care, or operate more efficiently.

IBM is creating a smarter, more connected healthcare system that can deliver better care with fewer mistakes, predicts and prevents diseases, and empowers people to make better choices. This includes integrating data so doctors, patients and insurers can share information seamlessly and efficiently. IBM also helps clients apply advanced analytics to improve medical research, diagnosis and treatment in order to improve patient care and help reduce healthcare costs.

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