Skip to Content
Author's profile photo Christine Donato

Sentara Healthcare Improves 3 Operational Areas with SAP HANA

Sentara Healthcare, a 126 year-old not-for-profit integrated healthcare system, is a national leader in improving medical options for its patients.  The organization, which is based in Norfolk, Virginia, specializes in heart, kidney, and stroke care, as well as infection prevention.  Sentara is dedicated to national and international health research as well as medical trials.


Sentara 1.jpgThe organization operates over 100 sites of care, including 12 acute care hospitals, most of which leverage Epic electronic health records.


Sentara is unique in that the organization is not only a provider of care, but also a payer, insuring approximately half a million lives.


In addition, the organization operates a college for healthcare professionals.


Sentara Healthcare Presents at HIMSS 2016


At HIMSS 2016, Mark Anderson, Manager of Applications and Architecture for Sentara Healthcare, shared insights into Sentara’s use of SAP HANA to assist with data acquisition and reporting across the entire enterprise.


Prior to its SAP HANA purchase, Sentara had no SAP HANA experience.  However, SAP hosts a user group of other SAP HANA customers that also run Epic solutions. The group serves as an exchange for best practices, troubleshooting, and innovative ideas.


Since going live in November 2015, Sentara has leveraged SAP HANA to assist with scheduling appointments, optimizing ordering patterns, and running deep-dive analytics to improve operating room areas.


Appointment Scheduling


Sentara schedules over two million patients a year. The organization sought a solution that would work well for providers and also eliminate the need to aggregate the scheduling data.


With SAP HANA, Sentara can view data entries dating back 10 years as opposed to the former two-year view.  The organization can dive into the data at any level of detail needed: viewing appointment scheduling and times, cancellations, and no-show rates.


Optimizing Ordering


The physicians within Sentara’s organization order over 19 million items per year. In the future, Sentara sees that number growing by three to four million more orders per year. To analyze buying trends and orders for different procedures and treatments, Sentara required more advanced technology.  The basic solution would not work for such a large amount of data.


With SAP HANA, Sentara can examine the outcomes of physicians who use order sets verses those who do not.


The organization realized that older physicians tended to avoid the use of order sets, whereas new residents and doctors utilized order sets as a safety net. Sentara hopes to find trends in what doctors are ordering outside of order sets that can instead be streamlined to optimize efficiency.



Analyzing Operating Room Trends


Sentara 2.jpgTo view operating room information in as little detail or as much detail as needed, Sentara leveraged SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence for Mobile with the SAP HANA Platform running on the backend.


The system allows operating room directors and physicians to easily “slice and dice” the data as needed: searching through and filtering the data sets, analyzing trends to save on costs, and improving patient outcomes.


Lessons Learned


To input all 100 million Sentara patient records into the SAP HANA system, Sentara prepositioned the data as opposed to entering it in raw. The organization was really interested in the parent data, so they normalized it as they moved it into the SAP HANA data sets.


Anderson explained that if the organization was to do the data migration again, they would be sure to deep dive into additional areas.


Future Plans


The State of Virginia released a data set of all state-wide payer claims.  With the SAP HANA solution, Sentara will compare its providers and claims against the provider claims of other payers with the exception of Medicare.


In addition, the organization plans to analyze ambulatory operations and things like infection rates of surgical procedures and the length of time patients stay in the hospital.


To learn how SAP HANA can optimize your business, click here.


For more stories follow me @Cmdonato and on LinkedIn.

Assigned Tags

      Be the first to leave a comment
      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.