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Mercy's data-driven approach to medicine saves more lives while lowering costs



The Data Visionaries at Mercy Health rely on data to:

  • Save more lives and alleviate complications
  • Shorten hospital stays and ER wait times
  • Lower the cost of care

For today's leading healthcare organizations, data makes a world of difference both in the operating room and the front office. And for the Data Visionaries at Mercy Health—named one of the nation's "Most Wired" healthcare organizations for 15 years in a row—their daily mission is to turn clinical data into life-changing insights.

"Being data driven is key to the healthcare continuum," says Scott Richert, VP Enterprise Services at Mercy. "And so key to the actual interaction with the patients that we have to be part of that practice of medicine in terms of high availability, reliability, and the ability to give our caregivers the data they need when they need it."

Mercy relies on NetApp solutions to quickly and easily collect and distribute data to help them create innovative, evidence-driven medical protocols they call clinical pathways—an innovative model Mercy implemented to bring together the brightest minds in health and IT to solve problems quickly. These pathways dramatically improve quality of care by empowering both operational and clinical healthcare professionals to work faster and smarter.

"NetApp was a very early partner and a very early supporter of what we were trying to do," said Richert. "Reducing cost and managing populations better, getting more accurate diagnosis, even things like staffing predictions and financial modeling—all those things are going to be better because of the data that we have and the algorithms that we apply to it."

Data, IT transformation, and the future of healthcare

What began with the adoption of electronic health records (EHR) has since evolved into real-time, cutting-edge healthcare technology. The team at Mercy prioritizes the value of these data-driven insights in the grand scheme of healthcare transformation.

"I do think data is going to be the major fuel for change in healthcare," said Richert. "The key thing we'll do in the future is we'll be more and more contextually appropriate with our insights. We'll be able to inject those things into the workflow while patient care is happening. We'll see more natural language processing, voice recognition, and artificial intelligence."

As part of their mission to digitally transform the world of healthcare, the team at Mercy has been using natural language processing (NLP) to capture unstructured data that would have otherwise been trapped in physicians' EHR notes. NLP enables caregivers to analyze those notes and transform them into usable, measurable data that provides insight into how different treatment options affect patient outcomes. This technology is just one way Mercy is able to turn millions of EHR data points into solutions that improve peoples' lives every day.

As organizations like Mercy continue to adopt data as the future of healthcare, patients will be able to increasingly reap the inherent benefits, including shorter wait times, accelerated healing, and an overall lower cost of care.

Learn how NetApp helps Mercy use data to advance healthcare and save more lives.

Founded in 1986, Mercy includes more than 40 acute care and specialty (heart, children's, orthopedic, and rehab) hospitals, 900 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 45,000 co-workers, and 2,400 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

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