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The University of Virginia Health System (UVaHS) is an integrated network of primary and specialty care services ranging from wellness programs and routine checkups to the most technologically advanced care. The Medical Center is the central component of the Health System, which has been designed to unify the clinical services offered through the Medical Center, the School of Medicine’s clinical departments, the departments’ practice plan, and various outpatient clinics. The hub of the Medical Center is a hospital with 565 beds in operation and a Level 1 trauma center. Solucient (Thompson Healthcare), a nationally recognized healthcare firm, has repeatedly named the Medical Center as one of the nation’s Top 100 Hospitals. In addition, UVa’s clinical departments are consistently ranked among the top in the nation in the annual listings published by U.S. News & World Report.
In 2006, UVaHS developed a roadmap for an Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) solution to address its information delivery and decision making needs. Beginning in March 2007, UVaHS partnered with HARKENDATA to develop the EDW and evangelize BI throughout the organization. HARKENDATA was chosen due to their broad range of experience in BI and data warehouse strategy and implementation. Together, the team is working to transform the roadmap into a fully functional EDW based on the information priorities of the UVaHS business community, while also building an internal Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC).
The initial effort includes implementing BI applications across multiple service lines/areas, including the areas of Capacity Management, Quality & Outcomes, and Supply Chain. In addition to establishing the data warehouse environment and delivering analytical applications to meet the three initial business subject areas, HARKENDATA is also institutionalizing BI and data warehousing best practices that will enable UVaHS to take on ownership and responsibility for building and maintaining health system-wide warehousing and reporting solutions.
The business impact of the data warehouse and BI program is extensive. Due to the establishment of new training processes, in-depth business requirements gathering, and extensive source system analysis, the program as a whole has created a vehicle for communication that previously did not exist.
By setting a baseline of knowledge surrounding data warehousing and BI across the business and IT community, this effort helped to establish the beginnings of the BICC. Stakeholders started out with an understanding of the importance of program and data governance, as well as the requirements for business-side buy-in on expenditures of both capital budget and, perhaps more importantly, time from business stakeholders. This common understanding that the data warehouse/BI program is a business-need driven effort has helped to establish the correct direction and procedures that are building program momentum throughout the effort.
At UVaHS, HARKENDATA pioneered the use of innovative and comparatively inexpensive data warehouse/BI tools. Since our data volumes are relatively low by data warehouse standards, the HARKENDATA Team has successfully embarked on the UVaHS program with a pre-existing platform consisting of an MS SQL Server backend. HARKENDATA is populated the warehouse from a variety of source systems, but all data are ingested with MS SSIS. From there, the HARKENDATA Solution is using MS SSRS for direct reporting and MS SSAS to develop cubes. The team has leveraged MS SharePoint as both an internal team collaboration tool, as well as the front-end for the user base. Within SharePoint, HARKENDATA integrated both SSRS reports and the ProClarity reporting and analysis suite.
By leveraging many existing products and licenses, the HARKENDATA Team established its warehouse and BI platform at a low cost with a great deal of functionality that is appropriate to the volume of data and users currently supported. This cost savings has allowed the project leadership to concentrate more effort and resources on establishing the governance and best practices necessary to ensure program success.