Qlik Sense True Story

During the past year, I have been providing assistance to large hospital system. This hospital system actually hosted a potential Qlik Sense client for ½ day and reviewed the value of the Qlik Sense applications that I  was able to develop with Qlik Sense this year.  This is a great Qlik Story for this past year as this client had no prior experience with Qlik Sense and had no development expertise with Qlik Sense. In fact, the IT department had decided to use another tool from the electronic medical record (EMR) vendor and finance decided to go forward with Qlik Sense. Therefore, this story is about a significant challenge of a large organization where the IT department has no knowledge of Qlik Sense and the  healthcare business community needs to have actual business problems solved in a reasonable time frame or a rapid time frame!

These Qlik Sense applications have been developed during the past year and have actually transformed the finance department data analytics for this large hospital system. These applications all use Qlik Sense from data source to extract, transform, and load of the final ASSOCIATIVE DATA Model and are in production at this large hospital system. This has had such a major impact on the organization that the skeptical IT Department has decided to support Qlik Sense and get people trained! This has taken an entire year of “Show me why Qlik Sense is the better way ”.

These live production applications developed this past year with Qlik Sense are:

  • Surgery Analytics and Surgery Analytics with Financials to include Profit and Loss
  • Inpatient Patient Analytics and Inpatient Analytics with Financials to include Profit and Loss
  • Hospital Billing Encounters with Financials for all hospital encounters in the hospital system to include profit and loss
  • Emergency Department Analytics and Emergency Department Analytics with Financials to include profit and loss
  • Surgery Executive Profit and Loss developed for the executives in the hospital system.
  • Expected Revenue Application that is developed entirely in Qlik Sense and accurately forecast the actual revenue for all hospital billing in the hospital system. This is a significant challenge in all healthcare organizations as the time span between hospital discharge and actual complete payment of services rendered is somewhere greater than 100+ days. This is currently used as the basis for the PROFIT AND LOSS for the entire hospital system!

The Ah Hah MOMENT 

  • I was able to develop a  population health application with the data for this large hospital system. And then the executives really wanted to see if there was value in this application.
  • This was not planed but really happened with a skeptic.

This major hospital system had migrated to a new Electronic Medical Record (EMR ) in October 2017 and had been using only the EMR vendor tools for Data Analytics. In the fall of this year, I built a complete population health application that included all of the actual encounters for the hospital system, all clinics owned by the hospital system, and all affiliates of the hospital system. The CIO was interested in what was the real value of such an application and invited me for a demo the application to the CIO, Chief Medical Information Officer, and the Director of Business Intelligence. During this demo, the skeptical observers asked for various capability and were astonished to learn that a selection on one sheet was used on any sheet in the application. Additionally, the client then asked for the ability to build a custom report real time. When this was demonstrated , the CMIO asked specifically for the all patients that had  Hemoglobin A1C greater than 8. This was completed unplanned and not rehearsed. Using a sheet that enabled one to select from any dimension and any measure, I followed his instructions. When he discovered that we actually had the values of these lab orders, I typed in ‘>8’ in the lab value dimension and suddenly all patients in the entire data base were displayed on the big screen being used in this executive conference room.  The Director of BI , stood up from his chair, walked in front of the large screen display to view the results and was astonished. He then turned to the CMIO and said “Does this mean that I can re allocate all of the IT resources currently working on this project request and we can use this Qlik Sense solution? The CMIO replied “Yes”. This IT department is now planning on training and moving foreward with Qlik Sense which was not the strategic plan of the organization. I really wish I had a video of this ‘ah hah’ moment with the Director of BI.

  • The Expected Revenue application at this major hospital system has proven to be a break though application. In any major hospital system that is attempting to manage their revenue and the actual profit and loss there is a major problem of a 100 days + lag of service provided to actual payments to the hospital. Therefore, the actual revenue (Payments by Insurance companies and patient payments) are always 100+ days after the patient is discharged from the hospital. The finance team  need at least a monthly view of the revenue and profit and loss like any other business! To solve this problem, an algorithm was developed in Qlik Sense that would analyze historical data for the past 15 months, calculate  expected revenue based on various factors such as inpatient or outpatient, financial class, self pay , contractual adjustments, refunds, DRG codes and other factors. This application was developed in about 3 months and tested for about 6 months. When the finance department validated that this application was highly accurate, it was deployed and is now in production for all hospital encounters and is used for the actual profit and loss of all major services provided by the hospital system. The following applications now have daily real time profit and loss:
  • Surgery Analytics and Surgery Analytics with Financials to include Profit and Loss based upon Expected Revenue application
  • Inpatient Patient Analytics and Inpatient Analytics with Financials to include Profit and Loss based upon Expected Revenue application
  • Hospital Billing Encounters with Financials for all hospital encounters in the hospital system to include profit and loss based upon Expected Revenue application
  • Emergency Department Analytics and Emergency Department Analytics with Financials to include profit and loss based upon Expected Revenue application
  • Surgery Executive Profit and Loss based upon Expected Revenue application

Why am I sharing this short story?

Healthcare organizations are very complex and are data factories that produce a great deal of data every day about the patients they serve and the services that are provided to those patients. Most of the IT organizations in healthcare are under staffed, over worked  and are using the traditional approach to data analytics. The traditional data warehouse approach should not be the only way to solve business problems in healthcare.

  • I am highly passionate about Qlik Sense and I am very vocal about the rapid time to value with Qlik Sense and the ability to transform an organization. I am a certified Qlik Sense Data Architect and a certified Qlik Sense Business Analyst with significant prior experience in Data Analytics with Data Warehouses, other competitive tools such as Power BI and Tableau. Qlik Sense has proven to be very effective when dealing with clients and potential clients who have either failed or are failing to meet business needs of their respective organizations. I have actually been selected for really difficult and complex projects by clients who face significant challenges and believe that Qlik Sense will increase the probability of success and are therefore  willing to explore with Qlik Sense. I wish to encourage others to take a chance on Qlik Sense.  During the past few years, I have met many so called Qlik consultants and Qlik clients that do not really understand the associative data model and the potential rapid time to value of Qlik Sense. Also, I have met many Qlikview consultants and Qlikview clients who really do not understand the value of the associative data model and the rapid time to value of Qlik Sense. The perception of these Qlikview clients is that Qlik is one of several technologies and there is no real understanding of the true value of Qlik Sense and modern data analytics  and the true potential for self service. Since Qlikview is viewed as an IT development tool , the Qlikview clients do not really understand the value of the associative data model for self service or the potential for true self service with governed data in Qlik Sense and the potential for rapid time to value with this approach. However, my extensive experience with other technologies and solutions provides opportunities to evangelize these potential skeptics and existing Qlikview clients that really need to move to Qlik Sense and become a true self service organization. 

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