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Yesterday was the second day of HIMSS 2016. So far, the event has been jammed with great content scoping every aspect of information technology in the healthcare industry.  The exhibit floor is massive, and if you’re not using the hefty map they supply, you’ll definitely get lost walking around.

I spent most of my time listening to presentations in the SAP Booth 5828.  SAP Customers from the healthcare industry provided insight into how they are running SAP HANA to improve their business processes and operations.

Sutter Health

The first SAP customer to present on Wednesday March 2 was Sutter Health's Souvik Das, Big Data Scientist.


Das outlined Sutter Health's Big Data journey, noting that because the organization is non-profit, it carries different goals than for-profit organizations. Its priority is to provide patients with optimum care, and one way Sutter Health is achieving that is by carrying out incentives set forth by the Affordable Care Act.


One goal of the Affordable Care Act is to reduce health care costs and unnecessary spending by encouraging doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers to form networks, called ACO's, that coordinate patient care and become eligible for bonuses when they deliver that care more efficiently. Primary care physicians are at the heart of patient care in this model.

One incentive of ACO's is to reduce hospital readmission rates. For Sutter Health to achieve this goal, they needed to examine the way they were running their organization, and make significant changes.

Sutter Health soon realized that to best manage its patients, it needed to create an organization that brought its people together to design ideas smoothly and implement a process and a technological roadmap to ensure those processes work successfully.

In the past, Sutter Health's technological roadmap looked like this:


But with the emergence of the body as a source of Big Data and the Internet of Things funneling in billions of data sets, in addition to the patient population and revenue increasing and storage data growing older and older, Sutter Health needed to make a change.


The company needed to shift from a traditional approach to data management to a Big Data approach to managing this information.


Now, the organization's data roadmap looks like this:


The organization created a framework that now allows business users to explore the data they need in a self-service model.  The IT department is no longer responsible for creating all of the solutions to issues that arise.  The business units are able to work together, access the data needed, and fix issues on their own.

Listen to the podcast Sutter Health recorded at HIMSS.

Sentara Healthcare

Later in the day, Mark Anderson, Manager of Applications and Architecture at Sentara Healthcare spoke to how the organization is running SAP HANA in three areas:

  1. Scheduling appointments
  2. Comparing the effectiveness of different physician order patterns
  3. Deep diving into OR areas

Sentara has been live on SAP HANA since November/December of 2015, so the project is relatively new and the organization is still collecting results on their findings.

The organization is happy with the ability they have to drill into different data sets in any view needed.

In the future, Sentara hopes to use SAP HANA to help compare its own insurance provider claims against others in the State of Virginia. Also, the organization hopes to dig into ambulatory action and surgery.  Sentara wants to compare infection rates and turnaround time of the length of stay of patients in and out of its hospitals.  The organization will also be completing a project around their Epic EMR system.

Keep an eye out for a full blog on Sentara Health coming soon.

Hasso Plattner Institut

The last of the three SAP customer sessions on Wednesday March 2 was Dr. Matthieu-P. Schapranow, Principal Investigator of the In-Memory Technology for Life Sciences at the Hasso Plattner Institut.

Schapranow explained the setting actors in oncology:

Followed by the IT challenges that are distributed in heterogeneous data sources:

And then he discusses how the Institut is analyzing genomes to provide better treatments for patients.

Because medical researchers have identified individual genetic dispositions as sources for complex diseases, like cancer, the Hasso Plattner Institut is running SAP HANA to process and analyze different locations of certain DNA genes.

Based on comparisons for different patients and their specific gene mutations, doctors are now empowered to provide more informed and fact based decisions around care.

Listen to the podcast recorded with the Hasso Plattner Institut yesterday.

For more #HIMSS16 updates, follow me on Twitter @CMDonato.