Like every other business in the world, we have to know and understand the financial performance of all of our facilities within OSF HealthCare. That means having the ability to view, compare and contrast billing data at every level—from in and outpatient hospital-based care down to the primary care services offered to our communities.
Having this information allows leaders to determine where we need to grow, where we need to scale back and how to fix areas of concern — all with the goal of ensuring we can continue serving patients with the greatest care and love. As a former OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center CEO said before, we can’t carry out our Mission without having the dollars to put back into the Ministry.
In the past, analysts evaluated the overall business using hospital-only financial information. To get the full financial picture, our finance teams needed a way to easily view hospital and ambulatory data in one easy-to-access place. This led to the development of the Integrated Financials Model that allows for analyses across the continuum of care.
Building an Integrated Financials Model
OSF has carried out hospital cost accounting using various analytics tools for years. However, ambulatory cost accounting is a more recent development — and this financial information was still being presented in separate areas. In order to provide a more holistic view of market sustainability, analysts had to manually pull those numbers into a spreadsheet model with limited viewing capabilities.
“The model took a long time to build and would often crash when sent to users,” said Eliza Montgomery, finance senior analyst for Financial Planning and Analysis. “By the time we would prepare and send out the spreadsheet, the data would be stale.”
Working with Healthcare Analytics, the Integrated Financials Model was developed using a server-based tool that can handle hundreds of millions of rows and processes this type of data in a matter of seconds.
“All of this data is housed within our home-grown Enterprise Data Warehouse,” said Tim Umdenstock, a senior business intelligence analyst with Healthcare Analytics. “The model we’ve built changes, normalizes and translates this information into an easy-to-use display.”
The Integrated Financials Model takes data from the hospital and ambulatory tab of a larger dashboard and merges it into a single view where end users can compare financial performance by region, service line, entity, department, physician and payor.
Improved efficiency of data collection
Updated daily, the Integrated Financials Model gives users the ability to manipulate data in any way they want, empowering them to understand the different segments of their business and make changes where needed.
“This has not only freed up time for our team to work on other pressing projects, we’ve been able to improve the integrity of the data and help users understand what the data means,” said Montgomery. “It’s changed my work from manually placing information in Excel to actually being able to do analysis.”
Having this data in one place gives OSF HealthCare the information it needs to sustain its Mission and expand it to those who need it most.