Health Care DataWorks (HCD) (www.hcdataworks.com) is a leading provider of business intelligence solutions for healthcare organizations. Its pioneering KnowledgeEdge product suite is an enterprise data warehouse that includes a robust data model along with pre-built analytic dashboards, applications and reports, and provides health systems the analytics they need to provide insights into their operations and help them become more effective and efficient.
KnowledgeEdge Enterprise includes a unified data model built exclusively for healthcare and bundled software, hardware and support that can be implemented at a fraction of the cost and time it would take health systems to build their own. The benefit to hospitals and health systems of all sizes is a broad and seamless view of financial, administrative, clinical and research data for easy analysis and timely decision making.
The KnowlegeEdge solution is delivered as a standalone offering installed in a customer’s data center and remotely monitored and managed by Logicalis or as software as a service (SaaS) hosted on the Logicalis Enterprise Cloud (LEC) platform.
The rapid evolution and market acceptance of KnowledgeEdge are the result of an innovative partnership between HCD and Logicalis that leverages and extends the capabilities of both firms.
The data model inside KnowledgeEdge was originally developed at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. The results of being able to apply advanced analytics to improve operations at one of the largest and most diverse academic medical centers in the country were dramatic. Clinical quality and financial benefits included:
Clearly there was a market for advanced analytics beyond the Wexner Medical Center so the group of data warehouse experts who developed the data model formed Health Care DataWorks to take it to market. They knew at the outset that they couldn’t do it on their own.
"At the university, we had a whole IT shop to lean on," recalls HCD Chief Technology Officer Mike Ostrander. "When we started HCD, we wanted to focus on what we did best – healthcare analytics. We wanted to find a partner for the technical and hardware aspects of the solution."
The founders of HCD applied the same diligence to finding a partner that they employed in developing KnowledgeEdge.
"We identified six criteria a partner would need to meet," Ostrander says. "Basically, we needed one company that could take responsibility for everything from the operating system down— including servers, storage and networking—and implement, as well as monitor and manage, KnowledgeEdge as a standalone solution in our customers’ data centers. Our partner would need to have a national presence and be able to deploy and support our technology locally. We also wanted them to have a consulting arm with specialized people we could tap for extra help to support our sales team and ensure the successful implementation of our product at a customer organization."
"The Sweet Spot"
Ostrander says HCD evaluated several integrators, before concluding that "Logicalis hit the sweet spot of being able to do everything we wanted them to do."
It also helped that Logicalis has a strong presence in healthcare with expertise across the entire IT infrastructure. They were recommended by IBM and Cisco and have demonstrated high-level ITIL best practices during more than a decade of experience providing managed services. They know how to work within HIPAA guidelines and understand healthcare’s need for uptime and security. To top it off, they are a leader in private and public cloud computing and knows how to make a good first impression.
The first big installation they completed together demonstrated that Logicalis was the right choice. "It turned out that technicians from Logicalis were on-site a week before we got there. That kind of scared me," Ostrander recalls. "They were the first contact with my company. In the end, it worked out very well. Logicalis was very professional. They had the required expertise, and they established a good rapport with the customer. By the time I got there, everything was going well."
Taking Care of the Customer
A key message in HCD’s marketing is that they take full responsibility for implementing and integrating the KnowledgeEdge enterprise data warehouse in a customer’s IT environment.
"We assure our customers they won’t have to deal with finger-pointing between hardware and software vendors. We are their one throat to choke if anything goes wrong. And I get the same thing from Logicalis," Ostrander says. "I only have to call one number. I know the escalation path through Logicalis, but I’ve never had to use it. Logicalis is providing services they are very comfortable with, and there are never any issues. The fact that I can lean on a large multi-national organization that does this stuff every day and has a good reputation strengthens the HCD value with our customers."
"I’ve got installations in Ohio, Minnesota, Texas, Florida, California and New Mexico and soon in other states," Ostrander adds. "If something goes wrong at one of those locations, somebody has to go out and touch it. Logicalis does this for us. They let us focus on what we’re good at, and they take care of all the rest."
More than just a provider of technology, Logicalis has become a true business partner with HCD. Logicalis, for example, is beginning to leverage its relationship with HCD to expand its own healthcare practice by introducing prospective hospital clients to HCD’s healthcare business intelligence and analytics solutions as a partnership offering that showcases and supports its own portfolio of capabilities. HCD, at the same time, is leveraging its relationship with Logicalis to offer healthcare customers a SaaS version of KnowledgeEdge hosted in the Logicalis Enterprise Cloud.
"The market is changing quickly, and the adoption of hosted solutions in healthcare is accelerating. In response to this, an important strategy for us is to grow our hosted KnowledgeEdge solution," says HCD Product Manager Pat Bickley. She notes, "Hospitals and health systems of all sizes are trying to find a way to reduce capital budget expenses and the overhead of managing systems in-house. Our hosted offering removes a huge barrier for our potential customers. We expect large growth in this market over the coming couple of years so it’s important to have a partner like Logicalis that can scale with us."
"HCD got to know Logicalis by implementing our solution for customers in their data centers," Bickley says. "We didn’t just jump into the cloud with Logicalis. As a result of that experience, we feel very confident that Logicalis is going to be able to go where we want to go. The cloud is the logical next step for us, and they’re the experts in cloud computing."
"The relationship between Logicalis and HCD is a dynamic, scalable partnership," says Logicalis Healthcare Business Development Manager Karen Burton. "Working together has enriched our individual offerings and opened doors for new opportunities for both companies. We’ve learned from each other, and that has empowered our respective market objectives. It’s a win-win."