Many healthcare providers find that EMR companies are good at handling EMR data, but not the best at data visualization and analytics. As a result, HEF Solutions (HEF) recently worked with a community medical center to consolidate data feeds to leverage capabilities within Tableau® and Microsoft®’s Power BI in order to enhance their data visualization and analytics needs.
The center was using a well-known cloud-based EMR, which captures data that could be used by the quality management team for analysis – but the EMR had limited analytics capabilities. The first step in this process was to find a way to automatically consume data feeds on a daily basis from the EMR and move it into an established data warehouse on site.

HEF’s Approach

HEF’s engagement was primarily to manage and consolidate data for the data warehouse to empower the medical center to enhance its analytics capabilities. Our team created an application that would run nightly to retrieve and process file feeds dropped from the EMR vendor to an SFTP site (Secure File Transfer Protocol). This custom ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) solution grabbed the data from the SFTP site, processed multiple feeds, logged the activity and moved it to the established data warehouse. Once processing was complete, a daily email with status and import metrics was sent to the medical center’s IT staff for review.
HEF worked with the medical center’s quality management group at the onset of the project to fully understand their reporting goals and ensure the data feeds they selected would provide the data required for the analytics and visualization they were hoping to achieve.

Thinking Outside the EMR Box

At HEF, we are consistently tasked to find creative solutions to our client’s data challenges. In this case, our client found that while their EMR was good at handling EMR data, it wasn’t the best at data visualization and performing analytics.  HEF was able to quickly develop a custom application within a 60-day period to consume data feeds and build a data warehouse that our client could leverage for their analytic tools.