BI at the heart of administration in healthcare institution Centre Hospitalier de Wallonie picarde
CHwapi was looking for an efficient business intelligence (BI) solution to ease its operational administration and to gain real time insights on its medical activities as well as on its administrative and financial results. Until then, CHwapi’s administrative department had to extract data from operational databases (SQL Server and Oracle) in Excel or Access and to reinitialize the information for creating reports or dashboards.
This fastidious process was far from ideal and involved time consuming handling with high error margins.
Spread over four sites in Tournai and one polyclinic in Perulwez, CHwapi is one of the major hospitals in Wallonia. With more than 2.250 employees, around 300 doctors, 25.000 admissions a year and a large-scale architectural plan, the hospital is able to offer a large range of healthcare services to the inhabitants of the Tournai region.
Software and services
- Microsoft BI
- Microsoft SQL Server
A flexible and polyvalent partner
Several potential partners have been consulted and, after a rigorous selection process, CHawpi chose Gfi BeLux. “In
contrast to most integrators, Gfi’s team did not present a standard solution with predefined interfaces. They kept an open mind, both on the technological as on the methodological level”, explains Didier Craeye, Deputy Director and
responsible for the analysis and administrative control team. “We needed to keep our information flows under control with a solution dedicated to our specific needs and based on our own indicators. Moreover, Gfi proposed to involve
our team in the creation of the first modules, so we could create the rest of the modules ourselves. This independence and Gfi’s BI experience in the healthcare sector were determinant factors in our final decision.
For the datawarehouse, we chose Microsoft SQL Server’s technology because of its simplicity and competitive price. As our needs are still evolving, we needed to start with a solution we could develop along. There are more elaborated suites such as Cognos or Business Objects – which are also more complex and more expensive – but they did not have added value for us.”
Gaining independance progressively
As it is usually the case for such projects, the implementation occurred in several phases. First, Gfi consultants created the BI module for patient management. A good ten reports and dashboards extracted from a report server provide a direct overview of key medical indicators such as the number of admissions, the occupation rate, external visits or
detailed activities of the ER. Those reports, which were reserved exclusively to the management until then, are now retrievable by all medical chiefs of services and the medical board of the hospital, who have been granted a secure access online.
Meanwhile, Gfi provided an intensive training on SQL server data to the members of the analysis and administration control team, so they could gain the required knowledge to produce the second billing BI module themselves. The realization of this module was completed at 75% by CHwapi teams and 25% by Gfi consultants. It provides the most important financial indicators, such as the invoices revenue, practitioners’ fees or the volume of physician appointments, flat fees, days of hospitalization or pharmaceuticals. In the coming years, other modules
will complete this BI tool: pharmacy, hospitalisation report, human resources, accountancy, purchases, etc.
Precise information for more agility
With clear and visual reports or dashboards edited daily or monthly, the board can now make decisions more quickly, with precision and agility. For example, according to the occupation rate, staff can be moved from an under occupied
department to another unit in case of temporary high affluence. The same applied when the hospital detected a drop in revenues in a certain domain, the analysis lead at that time (OLAP cube of the datawarehouse) revealed that some files were blocked by the billing service and that invoices were under evaluated. As a consequence, some prior files could be cleared. Moreover, the hospital undertook actions to improve the quality of entries made by the employees in the hospital’s system. Lists of control now permit to compare and validate data while encoding them at different stages
(hospital’s reception desk, ER, billing department, etc.).
“By working in phases, we could proceed at our own pace, while guaranteeing a good system adoption by its main users. Gfi endorsed several roles as integrator, consultant and trainer. The company provided the right methodology and allowed us to keep both tools and developments under control. We do not depend on any partner but we can count on Gfi’s expertise whenever we need it. In fact, we even extended our collaboration with Gfi for two more years in order to benefit from their punctual consultancy services and trainings.”
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