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BI helps create more efficient medical practice

OrthoCarolina has implemented a Microsoft-based business intelligence (BI) solution that was designed and implemented with the help of Mariner, a BI and performance management solutions provider.

Five years ago, OrthoCarolina formed from the merger of two orthopedic practices, resulting in an organization with 12 offices in the Charlotte, N.C., area. The first step was to consolidate offices and eliminate redundant systems, such as billing and scheduling, says Steve Hendrick, CIO of OrthoCarolina. More complicated was the need to form one efficient operation from the two organizations.

“Neither organization had a good handle on reporting and analysis,” says Hendrick. Information had been collected manually in spreadsheets, and distributed based on requests throughout the organization. To refine its new strategy for handling information, OrthoCarolina turned to Mariner, a Microsoft partner. Mariner showed OrthoCarolina a strategy for Microsoft BI that stretched from the data warehouse to the front-end dashboards and scorecards.

Hendrick says, “Embedding tools we already knew and used, such as Microsoft Office, and business intelligence solutions such as [Microsoft’s] PerformancePoint Server, was a great advantage ... Microsoft BI includes all the tools; with others, we’d have to buy third-party tools to get everything to work together. Microsoft and Mariner were more cost-effective by more than a factor of 10.”

According to a recent case study from Microsoft, with the new system, OrthoCarolina has seen benefits in management decision-making, clinical services and patient experience.

For example, Hendrick says that many doctors are taking advantage of the system to view patient satisfaction ratings that had been almost impossible to get previously because they were siloed in a separate system.

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