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Outcomes, Experience, and Engagement Are Healthcare Vital Signs at Crowded HIMSS2019

More people visit the city of Orlando than any other location in the United States. In mid-February, HIMSS19 did its part to push the city’s visitor count upwards, drawing in 43,000 people from 90 countries to one of healthcare’s foremost global conferences and exhibitions.

Exhibiting companies can get lost at a conference this large. To get above the noise, you have to make some noise—and SAP stood out. SAP stocked its full-service booth with interactive product demos and hosted 14 sessions over three days. The sessions focused on SAP customers and the new acquisition Qualtrics netted lots of attendee attention.

On Tuesday, Patty Riskind, Head of Global Healthcare at Qualtrics led the session, “Collect Actionable Feedback and Optimize Every Patient Experience with Qualtrics” to an interested audience, curious to see what Qualtrics brings to the SAP portfolio. As an experience data specialist, Qualtrics collects data through surveys that provide insight into customer, employee, product, and brand experiences. Qualtrics measures the experiences of both employees and patients to improve the overall patient journey.

“Qualtrics provides research that can be applied to providing reimbursement on patient satisfaction or predicting churn based on employee data,” explained Frank Matera, Enterprise AE at Qualtrics. “Ultimately, hospitals can keep surgeons on staff and deliver positive patient experiences.”

Patient experiences were also central at the first customer-led session. Neil Gomes, Chief Digital Officer and Executive Vice President at Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health gave an in-depth look at how Jefferson is changing the patient experience through digital innovations. Gomes studies brand successes and has a collection of stories that proves the value of customer experience. At Jefferson, Gomes is changing the patient journey by improving the experience. The healthcare provider has instituted an employee collaboration portal powered by SAP SuccessFactors and SAP JAM, and it has developed more than 130 apps and services.

In another customer-led session, Joe Longo, SVP and CIO of Parkland Health and Hospital Systems, explained how data has become central to providing patient care and improving engagement at Parkland. Longo led a project to pull in data from 200 data sources to SAP HANA and display the data through SAP Digital Boardroom. Now the staff relies on the Digital Boardroom dashboards during the patients’ daily huddle and finance executives turn to the dashboards to understand overall operations and outcomes.

Longo admitted that initially they didn’t know what they would find in the data and now it’s changing the way they do business. “We’re seeing the impact within our population, and it’s transformative to see how data is benefiting caregivers on the front line,” he said. “We have definitely shown the value of data to our executives, doctors, and people throughout the organization.

A panel from Mercy was another popular session, as Dr Todd Craig of Mercy, Curtis Dudley of Mercy, and Walt Ellenberger of SAP pulled back the covers to look at the positive changes realized from using real-world evidence. SAP has highlighted Mercy frequently, showcasing how the hospital has saved millions in operational expenses through real-world evidence based on data. In this discussion, the panel focused on data’s impact on patient outcomes.

Having a doctor’s perspective made the discussion much more real and relatable. Even with all the data available, Dr. Craig was craving more to better understand what happens to the patient outside the healthcare facilities.

Thursday’s customer-led session, “Breaking Down Barriers to Mental Healthcare” was a reminder that good health stretches beyond physical symptoms. Hudson Harris, Chief Engagement Officer at HarrisLogic, showed how data analytics can slow suicide rates and help divert psychiatric patients from emergency rooms to finding the healthcare that is most appropriate for their needs.

HarrisLogic has built five technology engines that rely on SAP HANA and SAP BusinessObjects. In another mental health project, HarrisLogic is working to help prevent suicides among physicians. Every year 400 physicians die by suicide. “We are partnering with SAP to create data models around this crisis so we can move toward precision mental health,” said Harris.

SAP Themes Mirror Conference Themes

Sprinkled in with the customer-led sessions, SAP experts led interactive sessions about hybrid analytics and looked at how to visualize and address real-world problems like the opioid crisis with dashboards in the SAP Digital Boardroom. Outside the sessions, SAP healthcare leaders met with customers, partners, and industry thought leaders to gauge the key trends and themes of this year’s conference.

Clemens Suter-Crazzolara, Vice President of Product Management of Health and Precision Medicine at SAP, tapped AI, blockchain, machine learning, and analytics as the major trends at HIMSS19. “Healthcare organizations are driving digitalization more rapidly than in the past to improve the lives of people through the help of advanced technologies,” he said.

In a nice turn, the trends noted by the SAP team and customers were in perfect step with the conference’s overall themes and attendee interests. A standing-room only crowd, for example, packed the “Using Machine Learning to Drive Innovation-Driven Healthcare” session. Other evidence was at the Personalized Health Experience pavilion, one of the most popular areas of the show floor, and how the conference planners dedicated an entire educational track to value-based outcomes.

The synchronicity is a clap to SAP’s understanding of the healthcare market and the growing list of customer results. By the show’s end, attendees had a much better understanding of SAP’s healthcare offerings and how they lead to better patient outcomes, more positive experiences, and better engagement.

Learn more about SAP in healthcare.

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