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Author's profile photo Christine Donato

Advocate Health Care Leverages Data to Promote Better Outcomes with SAP HANA

/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/advocate_941387.jpgThe healthcare industry is in the midst of many revolutions. There is a current shift from the role of patient to being more of a consumer; a push for value-based care; DNA sequencing leading to personalized treatment; the Internet of Things and wearable technology; sensor technology; and government incentives for the adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs) and formation of accountable care organizations (ACOs).

The largest health system in Illinois, Advocate Health Care, consists of 12 hospitals, 250 sites of care, and over three million patients.

Like many health organizations, Advocate Health Care is data immense.  The Advocate Department of Research & Innovation conducts hundreds of research studies, ranging from sponsored clinical trials to health disparities to population health. The data from the studies is used to feed educated decisions back into the healthcare system.

In the past, Advocate Health Care leveraged a Convergence CT data platform.  However, data-overload caused a break down in the performance of the existing platform. The system couldn’t handle the large amount of clinical data that Advocate Health Care used, including data to run its research business, clinical trials, outcome studies, and new innovations for patients and physicians alike. 

In this short video, Tom Summerfelt, VP Research and Innovation, Advocate Health Care, explains how he challenged Convergence CT to find a solution provider that could handle massive data loads in record speed and agility. As part of the SAP startup focus program, Convergence CT chose SAP HANA, SAP Predictive Analytics, SAP Business Intelligence, and SAP Lumira as the solutions to bring together all of the siloed warehouses and data across the healthcare system.

With the right technology in place, Advocate Health Care can now mobilize its data on over three million patients at once to generate insights and visualize these data in ways that healthcare has never before had the ability to do. 

The organization has moved from static reports requiring an analyst’s assistance to now viewing reporting snapshots at one point in time. 

This allows Advocate Health Care to interactively dig deeper to solve problems and generate evidence to benefit patients. The organization has decreased data turn-around time from being measured in months to being measured in weeks and sometimes, days.

Immediate Benefits for the Patients

As healthcare patients consumers take on more financial responsibility for their care, value expectations increase. With proper data analysis technology, Advocate Health Care is able to dissect micro-buckets of patients and determine the best treatments for different groups of patients.  They can determine the treatments that hold potential for the best outcomes with the least amount of side effect at the lowest cost possible


The organization can predict and proactively avoid poor patient outcomes like readmissions, mortality rates, sepsis, and other infections.

Future Goals

In the next five to 10 years, Advocate Health Care aims to expand to better serve healthcare consumers globally.

The organization will work on connecting platforms and new EMR data from outside its system, integrate and link all of the consumers and solutions, and then work with life science companies, retailers, and pharmacy chains to determine better ways to deliver health care and promote more healthy habits in consumers.

These goals allow Advocate to benefit from the economies of scale in order to meet the patients’ needs while also meeting health care organizations’ bottom lines.

For more on this story, read the Advocate Health customer journey.

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      Author's profile photo Dan Everett
      Dan Everett

      Hi Christine,

      How do they get data into HANA?

      SAP Data Services, HANA smart data integration, SLT, something else?

      Kind regards,


      Author's profile photo Christine Donato
      Christine Donato
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Dan,

      The customer relationship manager for this account is working to get you more information.  More to come....