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University of Utah Health Care System: Using business intelligence to improve patient care and hospital efficiency

A FAST Case Study

Challenge: University Health Care had no shortage of data. Its IT teams had built robust data warehouses to house data for everything from accounts payable to procedures ordered in intensive care. IT had created a communications system that allowed data to be combined across functions – to extract financial data and combine it with clinical data, for example. However, the data was not easily usable. The hospital’s business intelligence (BI) solutions were overly complicated for end users such as nurses and physicians. Two users seeking the same data could get very different answers. As such, adoption rates for the BI system were very low. The implications were clear not only for nurses anxious to avoid dangerous drug interactions but for surgeons responsible for improving operating room utilization. “We were giving people a taste of what was possible, but we were not penetrating the organization with information,” says data warehouse manager Cheri Hunter.

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