Since its creation in 1986, Mercy has grown into the fifth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S., serving millions annually. We have more than 40 hospitals, 40,000 employees and 2,000 physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

The explosion of medical data provides the opportunity to create new models of care on many levels.  However, this has been more dream than reality due to legacy infrastructure that is slow and inflexible.  Fortunately, we found a willing partner in SAP as we sought to overcome these barriers with a goal of delivering evidence-based and personalized medicine.

We started with two priority use cases.  First, we wanted to become a leader in breast cancer treatment and become a “destination” for large payers nationwide. We wanted to benchmark our program against other leaders—but that requires more granular metrics on our program and external data to compare to.

Mercy also wanted to benchmark our diabetes practice.  However, care for this disease was difficult to measure with our existing systems because it usually involves lifestyle, diet and other recommendations which are captured in the doctor’s notes (unstructured data).

Working with SAP, we built a POC on the SAP HANA platform that could provide access to all of Mercy’s data—structured, unstructured, public—providing a comprehensive view of its operational and patient data.  This information is available in real-time—queries of all 9 years of EPIC data complete in less than a second.

With these new capabilities, Mercy is in a position to look at their operations in an entirely new way, from benchmarking current practices in Cancer and Diabetes to establishing new ‘care paths’ using evidence-based medicine.  With real-time access to all the data, Mercy can create and monitor cohorts of similar patients and establish the best treatment protocol for each group.

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