The management of the Fuzhou General Hospital in Fuzhou City, China, had a problem. Reports that were vital to their decision-making often took days, or even weeks to create. That’s because for complex reports, they had to rely on their already overworked IT staff to retrieve the data. To solve the problem, FGH built a data warehouse around the Caché-based Speedminer™ application from Hesper Technology, an InterSystems Partner.
Fuzhou General Hospital (FGH) has been providing high quality, patient-focused care since the 1950’s. With revenue of 340 million Renminbi (RMB) in 2003 and 1200 beds, FGH is one of leading hospitals in the Province of Fujian, People’s Republic of China. FGH began automating its systems in 1998, and has since become one of the most “high tech” hospitals in China with 1042 workstations, 22 separate systems and 95 subsystems, including integrated HIS, PACS, and LIS. After visiting this military hospital, Mr. Shuzhong Bai, Minister of the Department of Military Healthcare, said: “Generally, the IT standard of Chinese military hospitals is high compared with others in the country, and FGH is the best of the Chinese military hospitals.”
However, the hospital has a technical staff of only 10 people to maintain the IT infrastructure of the entire facility, including all the hardware and software, as well as the network that connects various hospital information systems. That same staff is also responsible for developing software for specific needs, which often involves creating the complex reports required by FGH’s top management.
Before the implementation of the Speedminer data warehouse application, volumes of data had to be pulled from the hospital’s patient, administrative, clinical, and financial systems, and combined so that it could be presented to management for analysis. And because “older” data is periodically archived to tape for performance reasons, it was particularly difficult to retrieve the historical information necessary for medical research reports, trend analysis, and quality assurance. Reports sometimes took weeks to compile, and there was no capability for “drilling down” into the data to look at the results from a different perspective.
FGH determined that implementation of a data warehouse with online analytical processing capabilities would reduce the time required to create reports, and free the IT staff to do other work. After evaluating several options, they chose to build their data warehouse around the Speedminer product from Hesper Technology of Malaysia.
“One major difference between Speedminer and most other data warehouse products,” says Thomas How, CEO of Hesper, “is that it is built on Caché’s high-performance multidimensional data engine. By using multidimensional data structures, Speedminer removes the typical complexity of building data cubes, performing de-normalization, and mapping. That makes it easier to implement and use than other data warehouse products.”
Using Speedminer, FGH built a data warehouse that integrates data from all aspects of patient care including registration, pharmacy records, lab results, diagnostic imaging, financial information, and clinical documentation. It can also extract and integrate data from the hospital’s “historical” server. Speedminer holds data in a multidimensional environment that allows management to quickly and easily create reports from their desktops. In addition, Speedminer provides the capabiltiy for “cross-dimension” drilling, giving users greater insight into what their data means.
According to Mr. Chen Jinxiong, IT manager at Fuzhou General Hospital: “Using the Caché-based Speedminer product, we built and deployed our data warehouse in less than 90 days. Now, reports that used to take days, or even weeks, to complete are available in a few minutes. Management has faster, more complete access to data to help their decision-making. And the IT staff has one less burden to bear.”