CATEGORY: Analytic Applications and Performance Management

REVIEWER: Gadi Gilon, CIO of Clalit Health Services.

BACKGROUND: Clalit Health Services is the largest health service provider (HMO) in Israel and the second largest worldwide. Established 90 years ago, it now serves 3.7 million insured members with 14 hospitals and approximately 1,400 clinics and pharmacies. It has 32,000 full and part-time salaried employees, providing comprehensive and highly advanced medical care to the majority of Israel's population.

PLATFORMS: Eight-processor Unisys ES7000 Enterprise Server, EMC Symetrix storage area network, and highly distributed 1,400-node WAN, serving more the 25,000 workstations.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Employing 32,000 people at close to 1,500 sites, the first managerial challenge is to ensure a consistent quality of service while imposing budgetary responsibility. To this end, the top management decided to implement a customized business intelligence solution, based on ProClarity, that is easily accessible to non-IT personnel sitting at any PC on the network, providing the kind of information against which every healthcare professional can measure his/her performance or his/her subordinates' performance. Savings from improved performance and better utilization of facilities are estimated in a range of millions (USD) annually. Within five months (working part-time), Clalit was able to fully understand the potential of ProClarity, install the analytic tools, develop the pilot application and implement it.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: ProClarity has changed the way Clalit uses and views management information. Currently, the solution covers nearly 30 "worlds" – subject areas such as hospitalization, lab tests, medicine/drugs use history, prescription statistics and various demographics being accessed by more than 1,000 decision-makers. Additional worlds come online at a rate of two per month. Our ongoing objective is to offer our users a reliable service with an excellent response-time – regardless of the number of concurrent users and applications running. Sustaining this objective calls for a highly scalable solution – such as the one that ProClarity and its solution partner, Microsoft, provide.

STRENGTHS: ProClarity's ease of use, customizability (for language support), performance and price are the key strengths. We have demonstrated that the ProClarity solution provides cost savings through a quicker implementation and considerably reduced training, development, operational and maintenance demands. Moreover, we provided users with online, in-depth analysis without compromising security and data confidentiality and all of this worked from day one.

WEAKNESSES: The number of projected users and their countrywide distribution posed a difficult challenge. The introduction of the Citrix Server infrastructure when ProClarity was first implemented simplified the application distribution dramatically, enabled easy application maintenance and ensured compatibility (centralization, version control, software installation, single identical operating system, etc). The ProClarity Analytics Server 5.2 has made strides to improve deployment issues by centralizing software distribution on the middle-tier server.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We had stringent selection criteria including: comprehensiveness, ease-of-use, Microsoft Office compatibility and the capability to create or change views quickly and without much effort. Our solution also had to be Web-based to exploit existing familiarity with the Web and browser paradigm. The solution also needed to be technologically state-of-the-art with OLAP functionality, as well as secure, quick, easy and cost-effective to implement and maintain.

DELIVERABLES: Using ProClarity data analysis as the front end and Citrix data delivery to enable simple terminal operation, a custom-made business intelligence application was developed and deployed countrywide. This BI solution gives every clinic manager and doctor timely access to multidimensional analysis of the vast database containing hundreds of millions of records on patient hospitalization and pharmacological history, medical resource utilization and other operational information. This real-time analytical information is instantly available to users via a "zero footprint" thin-client interface, retaining the full visual richness of the application. This application seamlessly meshes with a similar data warehouse solution developed for hospital management.

VENDOR SUPPORT: ProClarity made the selection and implementation easy. It didn't take me long to understand ProClarity's value and capabilities.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation (hard-copy and online) is easy to understand when it is needed. The ProClarity product is so easy to use that most users have probably never accessed the documentation.

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