Fletcher Allen Health Care: Taming Data Growth

Content Marketing Manager, Emerging Markets, IBM

Founded in 1879, Fletcher Allen Health Care is a healthcare organization that provides advanced-care and hospital services to a majority of Vermont. Headquartered in Burlington, the organization has four campuses and several care sites and clinics. It is affiliated with the University of Vermont College of Medicine and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Fletcher Allen Health Care understood that in order to tame data growth and remain competitive in the healthcare industry, the company needed a massive parallel-processing environment to support analytics for increased efficiency. In addition, the organization wanted the ability to process large data sets in multiple ways to predict sickness and patient growth as well as provide potential diagnoses. This could help Fletcher Allen Health Care improve its practice and operations within its hospitals. Further, the organization wanted to focus on data structures rather than data administration. To resolve these issues, Fletcher Allen Health Care sought a new data-analytics solution.

Fletcher Allen Health Care implemented an IBM PureData System for Analytics platform to run advanced analytical queries without the worry of system overload. The platform also helps the client better manage the volume and complexity of data.

Jeremy Fortune, data warehouse architect at Fletcher Allen Health Care, explained some of the benefits he has experienced. "I don't have to manage every bit of data that comes in. I can focus on the structure of the data and really what's best for the consumers and analysts to be able to create this and fire through it and slice it."

The most common type of data currently housed is patient billing data, coupled with a recent increase in electronic micro-read information, which helps the client correlate to provide better diagnoses. Powered by IBM Netezza Technology, the IBM PureData System for Analytics platform successfully integrates within Fletcher Allen Health Care, helping it grow its database containing patient information to improve overall patient care.

By implementing an IBM PureData System for Analytics platform, Fletcher Allen Health Care improved data-processing speeds, which enhanced efficiency. The client also reduced administrative effort, enabling it to focus more on data structure and monitor patient data in near-real time.

"The primary characteristic of Netezza that was immediately apparent was the great values with speed. That's always going to be our number one criteria for the product," Fortune added.

In addition, the PureData System for Analytics platform provides the necessary capabilities to move into the trend of big data through unique data interpretations and analysis that were not previously possible.

Thanks to IBM Netezza technology, Fletcher Allen Health Care is able to expand data-analytics processes and has up to 200 users running queries at the same time.

"PureData System powered by Netezza technology is going to expand our growth of analytics,” Fortune explained. “At the moment we have a handful of probably 100 to 200 users that are available to query and run concurrent queries on our Netezza platform. But with the PureData System and the upgrades there, we can really expand our base to allow 1,000 end users (physicians and providers) to query at any time."

Watch this video of Jeremy Fortune talking about Fletcher Allen Health Care's use of PureData System for Analytics:


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