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Meriter Improves Patient Care and Saves $1 Million Annually Using the Microsoft BI Stack and Epic

MeriterSince its founding in 1898, Meriter Health Services has provided healthcare to the citizens of Madison, Wisconsin. With a current workforce of 3,000 people, it has grown to encompass a 448-bed hospital, nearly a dozen community clinics, home-health and laboratory services, a nonprofit foundation, and part ownership in an insurance provider. Meriter has won multiple accolades recognizing its exceptional patient care and dedication to technology, including listings in Thomson Reuters’ Top 100 Hospitals and in Hospitals and Health Networks’ Most Wired healthcare organizations, and a Platinum eHealthcare Leadership Award from Strategic Health Care Communications.

Challenge

To deliver efficiencies and improve patient care, Meriter Health Services has long been committed to using information technology. The organization uses Epic’s electronic medical records (EMR) software, EpicCare, to simplify the important patient-facing elements of care delivery.

As part of a new data center initiative in 2010, Meriter IT executives committed the organization to optimizing and extending the role of its electronic health records (EHR) system to help the hospital make more well-informed decisions on critical matters. These matters ranged from clinical quality and productivity to supply-chain standardization. Meriter wanted to give physicians and clinicians direct access to information required for optimal patient care, eliminating the need to engage IT professionals for customized reports.

Solution Deployed

As Meriter continued to embrace information technology and recognize the value of data, the organization decided to address these challenges, making the information generated by Meriter’s analytics and EHR systems more timely and accessible through an integrated business intelligence (BI) solution. After reviewing various BI options, the team decided to use Microsoft SQL Server 2008 data management software and other technologies in the Microsoft BI stack.

As longtime users of Microsoft Office, Meriter wanted to ensure users’ interactions with the BI tool were a natural part of everyday work. Choosing a Microsoft-based BI solution would also allow the BI experience to be delivered through the existing and familiar collaboration portal, based on SharePoint 2010 – giving users a seamless, “self-serve” environment.

“We wanted to deliver the BI experience to users through our existing collaboration environment, developed on Microsoft SharePoint “,” Heidi Rozmiarek, Manager of Business Applications at Meriter Health Services says. “We also wanted users’ interactions with the BI solution to be a natural part of their everyday work experience, which has long been based on Microsoft Office.”

Meriter engaged Perficient to assist with the deployment. Perficient business intelligence specialists worked with the organization to gather objectives, define the scope, and deploy the BI solution to Meriter Hospital’s orthopedics practice and to the Meriter Medical Group, which manages the administration of clinics. An enterprise-wide deployment of the BI solution is slated for early 2014.

Business Value Delivered

  • Meriter orthopedic surgeons now have accurate benchmark data on the performance of the various implant devices and timely information on which devices the hospital recommends
  • Healthcare dollars are spent more effectively, saving over $1 million annually on implant device purchases
  • Financial analysts in the Meriter Medical Group are finding it easier than ever to determine physicians’ compensation packages
  • Individual physicians are able to develop more standardized practices and protocols – a key component of quality