A Formula for Successful Data Integration in Healthcare

Posted by Christian Franklin

3/14/12 9:21 AM

A formula for successful data integration in Healthcare looks like this:


Topics: Analytics, Data Warehouse, Healthcare

HIMSS 2012: The Real Question - Clinical or IT?

Posted by Christian Franklin

3/8/12 12:18 PM

In returning from the HIMSS 2012 Conference in Las Vegas - the premiere healthcare IT conference, I left with tired feet, over-stimulated sensory organs, and a feeling of overload. As a solutions integrator and a passionate client advocate, I am more than intrigued on the size and scope of the many exhibitors’ offerings and solutions. The messages being sent by the vendors tended to address operational, procedural, and efficiency gaps mainly from an IT focus. As a solutions provider, I understand the need for technology to address the gaps by healthcare organizations, however, I think the true questions and answers need to be addressed from the clinical side. The what, where, and how need to be asked from a clinical standpoint, and in that order. What are the true clinical issues that can be addressed by IT solutions, where is the right integration point for the solutions, and how do these solutions improve overall patient care? Moving the needle to improve patient care and improve care gaps is the ultimate goal of the healthcare system. Yes, revenue and efficiency are vital to success, however, it can’t be just a CFO and CIO targeted proposal. The CMOs and Clinical Directors need to be at the table to ensure the long-term viability of the integration, analytics, and data will provide the answer to improving clinical outcomes. Transformational solutions include predictive analytics, Vendor Neutral Archiving (VNA), data warehousing, business intelligence, and HIE to EMR bi-directional integration. Clinical solutions should be the driving force in the long-term planning of a healthcare organization’s roadmap when deploying IT solutions, not the traditional IT first or better said; avoid the tail-wagging-the-dog approach!


Topics: Healthcare

Hadoop in the Enterprise Data Warehouse: Next Gen Analytics

Posted by Christian Franklin

2/6/12 4:57 PM

The Forrester Wave Report: Enterprise Hadoop Solutions was just published. The report notes that more players are jumping into the Hadoop pond and points out that it is still an immature market (a view that we share).  Althought the report is not without controversy: Hadoop Players Question Forrester's Take On Leaders, it's worth a browse - you can get a copy of it here


Topics: Analytics, Big Data

Healthcare Transformation

Posted by Christian Franklin

1/10/12 11:14 AM

The volume and demands of Integration and interfaces around HL7, CCD’s, EMR’s, and HIE’s are staggering! Cloud computing and big data are being actively discussed across many industries today and most certainly, the concept of cloud computing, big data tools such as Hadoop have made their way into the field of healthcare. However transformation in healthcare is more than technology alone, it encapsulates a need for change in the culture of healthcare itself. The ability to leverage cloud computing, big data technology in general as change agents for healthcare transformation is what really matters.


Topics: Analytics, Healthcare

Interoperability of Data in Health Information Technology

Posted by Christian Franklin

12/9/11 12:27 PM

The continually changing state of healthcare needs and interoperability of data in Health Information Technology (HIT) systems is growing exponentially. The need to have and consume discreet data exchanges between electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR), Health Information Exchange (HIE) and Personal Health Records (PHR) portals is in the forefront. The ability to exchange a fully coded Continuity of Care Document (CCD), availability to trigger automatic delivery once an event in care occurs, and to deliver the SAML interface is essential for adoption and use in the industry by all Health Information Technology groups. Ambiguity of the coded CCD mapping and missing naming definitions is hindering interoperability. Vendors need to quickly recognize that they no longer have control over consumers or their behaviors. Data access continues to rapidly empower the consumer but creates major challenges for healthcare providers and vendors. This shift also embodies the need to provide needed deliverables to users with even greater security and speed.  Data virtualization in healthcare and agile code morphing by vendors will be key to driving quick adoption by consumers (patients, providers and payors). 


Topics: Optimization, Analytics, Information Management

WebSphere licensing and IBM Power7 processor technology

Posted by Mark Rabin

9/26/11 10:34 AM

We recently went through an elaborate sizing exercise with IBM Techline for WebSphere Commerce for a client that was evaluating their e-commerce platform and strategy.  As is the norm, cost mattered, and the default assumptions baselined Linux and hypervisor on an Intel platform.  


Topics: Core Infrastructure

Enterprise Video: Finding the right channel

Posted by Christian Franklin

8/10/11 8:28 PM

With all of the activity around video, Microsoft buying Skype, Google+ Hangouts, Facebook integrating with Skype along with all of the shifting going on the in the telephony / telepresence is appears that enterprise video is, once again, on the cusp of breaking out.


Topics: Digital Business Evolution

Analytics: getting better all the time

Posted by Steve Cormier

8/3/11 4:27 PM

The pace of competition in business is increasing, fed in part by advances in information dissemination and computing power.  It doesn't matter what type of business, constant improvement is the focus.

The obvious sector is retail, where margins are often thin, competition can be fierce, and immediate product feedback allows businesses to adjust their advertising, promotions, or product placement in time frames inconceivable even a decade ago.    

A customer on the Internet can experience a new set of offers based on aggregate information from thousands of their fellow shoppers, drawn from their reaction to an offer experienced within the previous hours or even minutes.

Retail isn't the only sector subject to demands for constant improvement.  Healthcare, with pressure from government, constant innovations in treatment, and an emerging sense of consumerism on the part of patients, is seeking to identify improved practices and achieve better patient communication.

Utilities, faced with constrained resources and ever increasing need, are looking to smart feedback systems to help them tune their supply and demand balances, based on how people react to various factors in their consumption of services.

The solution to all of these demands for constant improvement is found in analytics.

What is analytics, really?  

Analytics is about getting feedback from existing systems to determine how to alter them for the better.

To do this, data (often large amounts) is drawn from existing systems, and compared against desired outcomes.  Where the result doesn't match the expectation, further analysis can be done to see where things are going wrong.  The system is altered, and the cycle starts again.  Doing this over and over again can lead to deeper customer satisfaction and better rewards to the provider.

Predictive analytics takes this one step further.  By applying algorithms based on extending existing data patterns, expected results of possible changes to the system can be modeled.


Topics: Optimization, Analytics

Netezza 2011 User Conference - Enzee Universe

Posted by Christian Franklin

6/28/11 12:28 PM

Netezza, a recent acquisition into the IBM Company, held it's annual user conference this past week in Boston.  It was good to meet up with clients and spend time with some of our partners such as Composite Software, MicroStrategy and BrightLight Consulting.


Topics: Data Warehouse, Information Management, Core Infrastructure

Rational Developer - Application Development on IBM Power

Posted by Mark Rabin

6/22/11 3:33 PM

IBM WebSphere Development Studio Client has been replaced by the Eclipse-based Rational Developer for Power System Software (RDPSS) to allow developers to do RPG, COBOL, programming on the System i.  This is built on the same platform as Rational Developer for WebSphere that provides Java delelopment tooling.


Topics: Optimization, Agile

TamGroup Celebrates its 15th Year!

Posted by Michael McDonald

6/16/11 11:09 AM

We crossed our 15 year marker with solid financial results, our client base continues to grow and the 2011 outlook is positive. It's been an exciting year and our work around IT Transformation, Analytics and Mobility initiatives is paying dividends back to our clients in the form of more responsive and cost effective IT Infrastructure, improved data management and analysis along with pushing the information and systems out to a more mobile workforce...

Topics: News & Opinion

Service Management: the New Reality

Posted by Christian Franklin

6/9/11 11:20 AM

The terms ‘Cloud Computing’ and ‘DevOps’ are terms and people are trying to figure out what they mean.  We saw something similar with SOA a few years ago but things have settled out and creating services is becoming standard practice.  I expect similar things to happen with DevOps and Cloud.


Topics: Optimization, Cloud & DevOps