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Hospital Uses Cognos Analytic Software To Improve Patient Satisfaction

Vancouver hospital uses Cognos analytical-processing software to become more efficient and improve patient satisfaction.
Hospital patients are customers, too. While some health-care organizations seem to have forgotten that, the Vancouver Hospital & Health Sciences Center (VHHSC), a large teaching and research hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, is taking steps to improve customer satisfaction by using a business-intelligence system to analyze hospital operations data. Development of the system, which went into broad use at the hospital earlier this year, was revealed this week by Cognos Inc., whose software provides the system's foundation.

The QUIST (quality utilization information support team) system is based on Cognos' PowerPlay online analytical processing (OLAP) software. The system is used to collect patient and hospital operational data, including information about patient admissions and discharges, surgical wait times, average patient stays, emergency room statistics, and the number of patients per doctor and per ward. The data is used to create OLAP databases that medical and service managers use to analyze hospital functions to realize operating efficiencies and to improve patient satisfaction.

Hospital managers, for example, are scrutinizing the patient discharge process to find ways to make it more efficient, saving patients time and the hospital money. Efforts also are under way to identify specific medical procedures for which there are long wait times because of shortages of medical equipment or specialists needed for those procedures. Administrators also can balance physician workloads by analyzing how many patients are assigned to each doctor.

Hospital employees access the system via browsers and the hospital's intranet. Before QUIST, lengthy manual processes were needed to access and extract data from the hospital's medical records. Developing reports to answer such questions as "How long do our patients stay in the hospital?" took months. Now those questions can be answered in minutes.