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mit-jpgMIT Medical meets the healthcare needs of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology community and family members. With 90 clinicians in all medical specialties and its own health plans, a small hospital, and pharmacy, laboratory, and radiology services, MIT Medical serves a population of 30,000, registering approximately 130,000 outpatient visits per year.

A reporting challenge

“We have many disparate applications and databases that have to be interfaced one way for our business functions, and other ways to create useful management data,” says Alison Grice Knott, MIT Medical’s manager of information security and integration. Before adopting Ensemble, analysts extracted data from these varied sources and then entered it into Access databases and Excel spreadsheets for analysis. “But the data was always retrospective,” Knott explains, “not information the medical staff could use to impact their work or patient care in a timely way.” In 2007, increasing demand for improved management information drove the search for a new reporting solution. After a successful proof-of-concept project, MIT Medical chose the InterSystems Ensemble rapid integration and development platform.

Rapid development and a fast path to higher quality of care

Ensemble has made a big difference for us. It knits all the information together without the management challenges of a data warehouse.

Alison Grice Knott, manager of information security and integration
MIT Medical

Using Ensemble, MIT Medical created several Web-based dashboards that present live data, rolled up into summary statistics, drawn from various applications and data sources. Each dashboard targets a different area of interest, such as diabetes patients, or visit statistics. “Once we’ve done one dashboard,” says Terry McNatt, an MIT Medical consultant, “it’s very easy to tweak it for use in the next project.” Ensemble business rules give the dashboards a “set and forget” capability. “We set the rules,” explains McNatt, “and Ensemble goes and gets the pieces of data we want, when we want it, so our users are always seeing fresh information.” Ensemble business activity monitoring keeps an eye on the data and sends alerts when key performance indicators pass certain thresholds.

“Ensemble has made a big difference for us,” Knott says. “It knits all the information together without the management challenges of a data warehouse.” Knott continues, “Now we can look at productivity in terms of increasing quality of care, and keep an eye on costs. We can get answers to questions like, ‘Are we managing our diabetic patients well?’ ‘Are we meeting the standards set for wellness?’”

With the data freed from static reports, any authorized user with a Web browser can drill into the summary numbers and explore their origin. “Our users trust the data now,” says Knott, “and have confidence in using it to guide management decision making.”