Reporting Efficiencies Yield Savings and Improved Satisfaction

August 31, 2022
Posted in Data and Analytics

Article Summary


Decision makers continually need more data and analytics to support their decisions, but IT and BI resources don’t always keep pace, which can lead analytics teams to feel overwhelmed with the number of requests. MultiCare Health System experienced significant growth, resulting in increased demand that threatened its analytics team’s efficiency and morale. The organization recognized it needed to transform its analytics solution and processes.

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Featured Outcomes
  • 95 percent relative improvement in ticket request response time.
  • 88 percent relative reduction in ticket request backlog.
  • 79 percent relative reduction in FTEs over four years while maintaining expected service levels—avoiding more than $1M in costs.

THE CHALLENGE OF IMPROVING REPORTING EFFICIENCIES

As leaders increasingly rely on data and analytics to support and inform strategic and operational decisions, requests for generating massive data and report requests also increase. However, budgets and finite IT and BI resources don’t always keep pace. As a result, it’s easy for analytics teams to feel overwhelmed and exhausted, leading to frustration, loss of productivity, and demoralization.1 MultiCare sought to improve its reporting efficiencies and drive meaningful change.

GROWING REQUESTS, GROWING PROBLEMS

MultiCare experienced significant growth from an increasing population and acquisitions, resulting in increased demand for IT resources, analytics, and reporting—which threatened to overwhelm the analytics team. In addition, a growing backlog of over 100 unassigned ticket requests resulted in slow response times, poor internal partner experience, escalations to upper management, and a frustrated analytics team.

MultiCare recognized its processes had not kept pace with the increased demand and changing environment, creating gaps in critical information that clinical and operational leaders needed for data-informed decision making. As a result, the analytics team needed to change its processes and adjust its analytics offerings to ensure it could flex to meet the organization’s ever-evolving data and analytics needs.

DRIVING TRANSFORMATION

MultiCare determined it needed to transform its reporting and analytics processes by utilizing the high-value data and analytics from the Health Catalyst® Data Operating System (DOS™) platform and consolidating its reporting and BI tools. In addition, the organization used process improvement methods to identify opportunities to reduce waste and improve performance.

MultiCare implemented changes to reduce the number of analytics applications and reports. As part of that, it established and implemented a retirement and archive policy and identified solutions with low utilization. MultiCare now uses banner notifications to communicate the plan to retire or archive solutions with low utilization, notifying potential users that the solution will be archived in two weeks. If the team receives no feedback after the two-week period, they archive the solution instead of deleting solutions that may later need to be reactivated.

The organization recycles inefficient or unfit solutions in use, converting them to new solutions with enhanced capabilities. It consolidates multiple, similar reports into a single report, moves custom reports to standard reports, and continually looks for opportunities to increase the adoption of self-service analytics.

MultiCare leverages its high-quality data and analytics and reusable content to meet the organization’s data and analytics needs. Users are trained to utilize existing visualizations, applications, and reports and leverage existing SQL to serve data requests. The organization identifies which data needs can be met using the EHR, and which data needs require a more robust, flexible, and dynamic analytics solution.

The organization implemented new processes to standardize and triage the management of incoming tickets. Tickets are now assigned to the appropriate resource, who then works on the solution and closes completed tickets. It also added an on-call rotation to address immediate needs.

Standardized internal monitoring and reporting allow the analytics team to identify and address problem areas as they arise and facilitate continuous improvement.

“Consolidating our reports and analytics and ongoing process improvement has allowed us to reduce waste, improve the services we provide, and avoid more than $1M in costs.”

Yoshi Williams, Data Warehouse Manager & Principal Architect, MultiCare Health System

RESULTS

MultiCare’s reporting and analytics improvement efforts are delivering the desired results. The organization has achieved:

  • 95 percent relative improvement in ticket request response time.
  • 88 percent relative reduction in ticket request backlog.
  • 67 percent relative reduction in non-strategic work.
  • 71 percent relative reduction in the number of analytics solutions.
  • 67 percent relative reduction in the number of reports requested per week.
  • 79 percent relative reduction in FTEs over four years while maintaining expected service levels—avoiding more than $1M in costs.

WHAT’S NEXT

MultiCare understands that even the best analytics solutions can’t produce meaningful change if they aren’t used. The organization is focused on further improving access to self-service analytics, increasing data literacy, and increasing frontline leader adoption of improvement science.

REFERENCES

  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022). Table 1. Job openings levels and rates by industry and region, seasonally adjusted – 2022 M05 results. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.t01.htm

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