Enterprise Data Warehouse at Henry Ford Health System

Posted by Jack Malloy

Mar 5

By Jack Malloy, VP of IT Services Integration & Quality, Henry Ford Health System

Editor’s note: Pravin Sapre, director of Henry Ford’s Enterprise Data Warehouse Program will be a featured presenter at Wayne State University’s 2nd Annual Big Data & Business Symposium, March 10 -11, 2015

Henry Ford Health System’s Baldrige Award

Henry Ford Hospital System at Wayne State University Big Data SymposiumFour years ago, the Henry Ford Health System was acknowledged as a national leader in performance excellence by winning the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, this prestigious award annually recognizes organizations whose core values, leadership, and performance management framework work together to deliver exceptional and continuously-improving results, giving them a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Data driven performance management

A key component of the rigorous Baldrige evaluation focuses on measurement, analysis, and knowledge management. In its application for the award, Henry Ford highlighted its approach to data-driven performance management by describing how it uses analytics to track metrics aligned to its 7 Pillar Strategic Framework of:

  • PeopleHenry Ford Health System Malcolm Baldrige Award
  • Service
  • Quality & Safety
  • Growth
  • Research & Education
  • Community
  • Finance

Representative examples of Pillar dashboards trended over time confirmed that process improvement initiatives supported by the right analytics can drive improved results along all areas of an organization and through all organizational levels. These result improvements were further validated by benchmarking against comparable healthcare organizations using industry-standard measures.

Date collection and warehousing - An epic opportunity

Quality metrics require timely, accurate, and consistent data. In 2011, the process for collecting, integrating, scrubbing and preparing the data for the performance dashboards required more human effort than could be scaled to meet the significant and accelerating analytics needs across the organization.

One significant part of the problem was that data needed to be collected from disparate legacy IT systems, many of which performed the same functions at different business units. These IT systems were never standardized around what data were collected, what data were structured vs. unstructured, what format they took, and what values were valid. Definitions of core data concepts, like an admission or a discharge, also varied by location. Much of the herculean effort to produce meaningful system-level dashboards involved scrubbing and standardizing these data every month. Some key data which were not stored electronically even needed to be abstracted from paper documents using statistical sampling models.

Henry Ford Health System 100 yearsDue to the increased pressure of regulatory mandates, such as ICD-10 and Meaningful Use, and the anticipated transformational opportunities created by newer technology, Henry Ford decided in late 2011 to replace all of its core IT systems with an integrated system from Epic Systems. Work began immediately and by May 2014 every Henry Ford business unit and department, along many affiliated physician practices, were all using Epic. The new system replaced 17 different billing system and more than 40 different clinical systems. This Epic implementation not only provided a common platform for data sharing and communication across the organization, but it also imposed standardization of processes and data to an extent that was never possible before.

However, the adoption of an Epic’s integrated system for Hospital Billing, Physician Billing, Inpatient Clinical, and Ambulatory Clinical did not eliminate the need for an Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW). There are core business functions and data that are outside of Epic’s scope, such as HR and Payroll. Also, there are over 20 years of historical data that are valuable for Clinical Research and for year-over-year comparisons that need to be combined with the Epic data.

Many Epic customers wait a few years after implementing before tackling an Enterprise Data Warehouse program. But Henry Ford is unique. In August 2012, before the first Henry Ford site went live on Epic, funding was approved for the new Enterprise Data Warehouse. Contracts were quickly signed, the core team was assembled, and the EDW program officially launched to six months of high-level planning. Work on the EDW began in earnest in February 2013.

Looking back over these last two years, the EDW program has had its successes and failures, its multiple course corrections, and even a couple of shifts in strategy. It’s an interesting story, but there’s much more information than can be shared in a short blog.

Enterprise Data Warehouse Program and WSU’s Big Data & Business Symposium

Big Data Symposium


To learn everything you need to know about the Henry Ford’s Enterprise Data Warehouse, sign up for Wayne State’s 2nd Annual Big Data & Business Symposium by clicking on the image above. Pravin Sapre, Director of Henry Ford’s Enterprise Data Warehouse Program, will be one of the presenters at the Symposium and he will share key insights from our two-year journey. He may even touch on where we’re heading.  I guarantee you will find his presentation educational and worthwhile.

Topics: Inbound Information Technology, Big Data

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