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How data analysis is improving a healthcare facility's operations and the lives of its most at-risk patients

Published by Business Insider on Tue, 04 May 2021


<p><img src="https://static1.businessinsider.com/image/608710e03f0560001881c197-2121/GettyImages-542739339.jpg" border="0" alt="healthcare data analysis alteryx" data-mce-source="Getty Images"></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>Nathan Patrick Taylor, chief information officer of Symphony Care, is an advocate of what he calls citizens' analytics: He believes that with the right analytics software, everyone in an organization can make smart, data-driven decisions that have a positive effect on outcomes. It's a bold stance given that his employer, Symphony Care, is a healthcare company that manages 34 sub-acute-care facilities and 4,000 beds. Those 34 facilities create thousands of data points every single day.</p><p>Companies like Symphony Care are in the business of helping patients recover and get on with their lives. In this critical line of work, data-analytics resources are scarce but urgently needed. Identifying patients most likely to fall, reducing hospital readmissions, and pairing the right patient with the right resourceslike staffingsaves lives and money.</p><p>When Taylor joined Symphony Care, reports were essentially static PDFs that took a long time to generate, which limited their utility. He began evaluating platforms to automate analytics but found them difficult to get up and running. Until he found Alteryx.</p><p>"There were too many data access issues, and we needed something that could work with our data right away," Taylor says.</p><p>A student in a college program he was teaching told him about Alteryx, and later that night, he installed it on his computer and launched a free trial. He hasn't ever looked back.</p><h2><strong>A leader in analytics and data science automation</strong></h2><p>Alteryx pioneered the unification of analytics, data science and process automation and to provide both the power and the ease-of-use Taylor needed for his organization. Having something that could provide fast outcomes with new analytics discoveries, but done via a software solution that anyone could use regardless of their skillset, was paramount.</p><p>"Many platforms offer machine learning, but Alteryx went beyond that, offering the kind of automation of data prep and blending capabilities combined with every type of analytics from descriptive to predictive, that all healthcare companies universally need," Taylor says. "We're not an IT shopwe don't have people who can clean data and run advanced&nbsp; analytics for us."</p><p>With Alteryx up and running in no time and his data sources seamlessly plugged in, Taylor got to work at analyzing clinical metrics.&nbsp;</p><p>"Once we do the analytics, the insights feel like common sense, but getting to those insights isn't easy," he says.&nbsp;</p><p>Patient falls are a case in point. There are many reasons people fall, including age, medication, and even a lack of family members to remind them to call for a nurse when getting out of bed. Alteryx analytics automation was able to identify the scenarios that led to patient falls and predict which ones were most at risk.</p><p>Alteryx includes that risk information in reports, generates a list of patients, and sends to the nurses who will care for those patients on a day-to-day basis. "Alteryx did more than help us pinpoint the risks. It also allows us to send these types of insights and reports to the nurses at the start of their shifts," Taylor says. "We couldn't do that before."</p><p>Alteryx also helped Symphony Care to both streamline and increase accuracy in its analytics and reporting. Symphony operates in numerous counties in several states, each of which has its own reporting requirements and definitions of events, like a hospital readmission. Some locations have readmission exclusions, while others don't. The Alteryx platform allowed Symphony Care to write rules to ensure accuracy in all of its reports.</p><p>The platform also helped Taylor and his team make critical updates to the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), which predicts the 10-year mortality for patients with a variety of comorbid conditions. Advances in healthcare mean that patients with certain diseases, such as AIDS, now live longer, and the old CCI scores are no longer accurate predictions of needed care. Taylor's team leveraged Alteryx to create its own version of the CCI for post-acute care.</p><p>Once the critical clinical analytics were well underway, Taylor turned his attention to the financial metrics. Referrals, the bread and butter of every rehabilitation facility, was at the top of his priority list. All rehab and sub-acute-care facilities have liaisons who work in hospitals to place patients in an appropriate facility to meet their needs. Knowing where to send the liaisons is an important business decision and requires a thorough understanding of conversion rates. Before Alteryx, Symphony Care had no real data on its referral success or conversion rate.&nbsp;</p><p>A broadcast referral goes out, and if that person happens to live in an area where Symphony has five facilities, all five get the referral. If Symphony wins that patient, it has one win and four losses, or a conversion rate of 20% on paper. In reality, Symphony has a conversion rate of 100%.</p><p>"Alteryx helped us do this cleanup. Again, it sounds like common sense, but when you need to match data from dozens of patients and multiple facilities manually, it's easy to miss these things," Taylor says. "This insight helped us to see where to apply our resources."&nbsp;</p><h2><strong>Symphony Care's proof of concept for citizens' analytics</strong></h2><p>Citizens' analytics now thrive at Symphony Care, and Taylor points to Alteryx's Analytics App as proof of concept. All healthcare facilities are required to check their vendor list against the Office of the Inspector General's vendor-exclusion list on a monthly basis. Before the company's adoption of Alteryx, an administrator spent about 12 hours each month manually comparing the two lists. Today, both lists are loaded into the Analytics App, and matches are identified within minutes.</p><p>Data security is paramount, and the Alteryx platform can help manage it more easily. Alteryx Server allows Symphony Care to assign role-based security restrictions at the column level and the row level of its data. This functionality ensures that only authorized personnel can see sensitive data, such as salaries, healthcare records, and insurance data. It also means that Symphony Care can share limited views of data, like a disease and a patient's age, with the University of Chicago or other research partners that are exploring advancements in treatment.</p><p>"Symphony Care really does show the positivity that can result when all people within an organization are empowered to make data-driven decisions. Data analytics should not be locked away in an ivory tower," said Mark Anderson, chief executive officer of Alteryx<strong>. </strong>"Organizations thrive when they can go from data to discoveries to decisions in minutes, and it's our mission to empower that cycle."</p><p><strong><a href="https://www.alteryx.com/company/about-us" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Find out more about how Alteryx's data-analytics platform can help your organization.</a></strong></p><p><em>This post was created by <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/sponsor-posts" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener sponsored">Insider Studios</a> with Alteryx.&nbsp;</em></p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/sc/how-data-analysis-protecting-healthcare-facilitys-most-at-risk-patients-2021-5#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p>
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