Published on 30-Oct-2009
"We truly see the IBM Cognos solution as a competitive advantage for us, especially in terms of boiling down a lot of data into simple, easy-to-read reports and dashboards – something not easily done in the health care industry, given the vast amount of complex data." - Jeff Chungath, Group Vice President, Information Management, IFMC
IFMC selected its IBM® Cognos® solution based on the successful track record of a robust IBM Cognos solution successfully deployed for a large customer.
Supplement legacy reports with a more robust solution that simplifies data access and provides users with a simple, easy-to-understand dashboard.
An IBM Cognos 8 BI system provides IFMC with robust reporting and dashboarding capabilities for more than 5,000 hospitals, and supplies stakeholders with the information necessary to comply with payment program requirements.
The ability to capture key payment indicators easily; streamlined reporting; powerful drill-down capabilities; increased scalability.
For more than 30 years, the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care (IFMC) has been dedicated to health care quality improvement and medical information management. Today, IFMC is an innovative industry leader in improving the quality, service and cost of health care through care management, quality management and information management services. IFMC manages clinical data in connection with:
• 3.6 billion Medicare claims
• 42 million Medicare beneficiaries
• 131 million clinical assessments
• Data for the Nursing Home Compare, Home Health Care Compare, and Hospital Compare Web sites.
IFMC is headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa, with offices also in Illinois, Maryland, Oklahoma and Nevada. With more than $100 million in annual revenues, IFMC features diverse business units that provide services to millions of people nation-wide.
IFMC is responsible for supporting a nation-wide healthcare quality reporting and payment program as part of its partnership with a large payer organization. In order to consolidate the number of reports required to determine program effectiveness and see the status of a program more easily at any given time, the company needed to replace its proprietary reporting tool with a more robust solution. The previous proprietary reporting tool required the provider to run multiple reports manually, compile the results, and from there, determine their status in respect to the program requirements, which proved to be very laborious and time-consuming.
Managers in healthcare have historically seen the need for better information management. This is born out of several factors, ranging from the amount of data managed to industry compliance standards and the diverse nature of reporting requirements to conform to state and federal regulatory procedures and legislation.
“In general, there is a lot of data in healthcare, and an inherent need to boil down complex data into simplified reports that are easy to digest and understand,” says Jeff Chungath, group vice president, Information Management, IFMC. “The process was very time-consuming and labor-intensive for users, and we needed not only a better way to gather and process data, but a cleaner, simpler way to present information to the executive team and users within hospitals and payer organizations.”
Leveraging an existing IBM Cognos solution, IFMC chose to deploy an IBM Cognos system based on its successful track record and the results seen firsthand, rather than go through an evaluation process. The ability to capture key payment indicators easily for the 5,000 hospitals enrolled nationally in the program, replace its manual reporting process and provide more robust drill-down capabilities were very important as IFMC rolled out its solution.
IFMC implemented IBM Cognos 8 BI in fall 2008 and went live in January 2009. With the help of IBM Cognos Professional Services, which aided in the implementation and report requirements and design, IFMC rolled out the dashboard that depicts the the status of cases, records and files submitted to fulfill the program requirements on a quarterly basis for hospitals enrolled in the nation-wide program. Users can now click on the indicators to determine if they are meeting the requirements of a particular program element, see more detailed information and run reports.
“Scalability has been an important factor for us, as we have the potential for 5,000 hospitals nationally to load their data into our systems as part of the program. Our impressions of the dashboards we’ve built so far is that they offer the scalability we need, in addition to the ability to showcase information simply for our user base,” comments Chungath.
Since the IBM Cognos solution went live in January 2009, users have seen significant improvements in their new reporting and dashboarding tool, ranging from its ease of use to the application’s visual aesthetics. In short, IFMC has found a way with IBM Cognos 8 BI to get very complicated clinical quality data presented in more useful ways. Executives and analysts in participating hospitals, nursing homes and payers are now able to view very complex clinical data in easily readable, simple forms, giving them far more insight than ever before. The data includes complex data sets that need to be presented in the simplest formats, so the users can not only drill down into the details, but then interpret the data with ease. This capability helps users achieve payment objectives, and also improves the quality of data and ultimately, the quality of care the organization is able to provide.
“We’re getting less inquiries directly on the status of payments and approvals, because users can now get that information themselves, which is causing higher satisfaction rates at the hospitals, overall. And it’s been hugely useful to have one, centralized location for information, rather than having it buried in a variety of reports,” notes Chungath.
The IBM Cognos solution has significantly cut down on the number of manual steps it takes to run a report. For example, in the past, users had to run anywhere from 12 to 15 different reports for the specified time period, compile the data on their own, and from there, determine where they stood. Now, users can run just one report – a report that is dynamic that not only displays current status of all required APU required elements, but also historical data, something they did not have before. In terms of ease of use, drilling down into a dashboard or creating a report from a dashboard is easier, too. Instead of clicking through various screens to order a report, users just need to click once, from the detail section of the dashboard, and get the report they need.
In the future, IFMC plans to extend the IBM Cognos solution into other areas of their organization, including physician quality assessment, outpatient reports and some additional inpatient reports.
“We truly see the IBM Cognos solution as a competitive advantage for us, especially in terms of boiling down a lot of data into simple, easy-to-read reports and dashboards – something not easily done in the health care industry, given the vast amount of complex data,” concludes Chungath.
About IBM Cognos BI and Performance Management
IBM Cognos business intelligence (BI) and performance management solutions deliver world-leading enterprise planning, consolidation and BI software, support and services to help companies plan, understand and manage financial and operational performance. IBM Cognos solutions bring together technology, analytical applications, best practices, and a broad network of partners to give customers an open, adaptive and complete performance solution. Over 23,000 customers in more than 135 countries around the world choose IBM Cognos solutions.
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
Cognos 8 Business Intelligence
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