Cloud-Based Analytics Turns Data Into Knowledge
The move from legacy IT systems to a more agile cloud infrastructure is a growing challenge for organizations, especially those in the health care industry. At CareCore National, which provides a variety of data-centric health care solutions for HMOs and other providers, the need to modernize an aging, inflexible IT infrastructure was paramount.
In 2008, as the Affordable Care Act began to take shape, "We began to have discussions about what type of company we would be and how we would deliver our products and services," recalls William Moore, executive vice president and chief technology officer of CareCore.
At the time, the company operated an IT infrastructure that consisted mostly of stacked physical servers. "We handled IT issues in a reactive way," he says.
CareCore makes evidence-based health care data for 70 million patients available to employees through portals, direct integration with electronic medical records and via more than 1,000 customer service agents. For this company, legacy IT wasn't good enough.
"We needed far more advanced capabilities," Moore explains. "We recognized that we were entering an era in which analytics would be the currency on which health care is based."
CareCore turned to Riverbed to optimize its network infrastructure and migrate systems and data into a virtualized, cloud-based environment. The result was a technology framework that allows the company's IT group to provide a continuous series of software releases. The firm is now able to align development processes within a virtual native application suite that addresses load-balancing requirements, while offering the flexibility to work within several different business scenarios.
The platform has helped transform CareCore, which has improved its internal analytics capabilities and made data more accessible. "Fifty thousand times a day, we're combining individual patient's circumstances with physician data about the most appropriate course of care," Moore explains. "We connect patient's symptomology data with appropriate use criteria and deliver the information back to the physician in real time."
The focus is heavily on understanding physician-patient interactions and allowing physicians to view their own performance against their peer group. At the same time, predictive analytics provides insights about the most appropriate care decisions in different circumstances.
"The goal is to transcend the traditional concept of decision support and provide physicians with everything they require," Moore says. "The systems allow us to transform data into actionable knowledge. It's all about being faster, more efficient and less expensive for our customers."
The migration to a highly virtualized IT infrastructure has transformed CareCore. The platform delivers a highly flexible evidence-based medicine model. "We can examine a specific process and understand how any change will lead to specific results," Moore says.
That makes it possible, among other things, to determine specific costs down to tenths of a cent and how average call durations affect patient results and pricing. "By putting all our data in the cloud, we have been able to achieve fine-grained insights that weren't possible in the past."