BACKGROUND: Beverly Enterprises is the nation's largest provider of post-acute healthcare services. Approaching $3.2 billion in annual revenues, the company incorporates an aggressive continuum of care that includes rehabilitation centers, assisted living centers, hospice and home care services. Beverly Enterprises sets the highest standards of excellence and constantly strives to provide innovative, industry-leading clinical outcomes at exceptional value to our customers. Beverly Enterprises employs approximately 80,000 associates nationally.
PLATFORMS: Database server: Windows NT. Client: Windows 95.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Beverly Enterprises needed to deliver information on a timely basis to decision-makers. A large company, with remote decision-makers managing approximately 600 nursing and rehabilitation facilities nationally, Beverly Enterprises needed a system that not only provided immediate responses to questions and allowed deeper analysis but also was efficient and easy to use. Beverly Enterprises chose Comshare Inc. for its innovative management planning and control application software, Comshare Decision, to solve the company's information delivery problem via a performance measurement system.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: In the past, the company's approach to administrators' information needs had been to handle requests on a one-at-a-time, ad hoc basis. A special decision support team would literally write code and develop programs based on requests. This created a backlog of work that slowed our response time considerably. As a result, our executives asked us to rethink our use of technology in order to provide them with the day-to-day information they needed to run the company more efficiently. We needed to get information out to our group vice presidents (GVPs) much more quickly than our mainframe system would allow. Today, we use Comshare Decision in a client/server environment. Even though Beverly Enterprises still uses the mainframe for financial applications, we have migrated several applications to Comshare Decision in order to meet the daily information needs of our managers around the country.
STRENGTHS: We needed to provide management with applications that would help them manage a group of nursing homes as though they were running their own businesses. We wanted to streamline the whole decision-making process so users could go into the new system and query the data themselves. Comshare Decision offered the broad-based distribution and user-defined control Beverly Enterprises sought. We had the first application in users' hands in about a month. We provided budget fluctuation data to GVPs who could see if their profits, revenues, expenses, etc., were on track. We followed the first application with a labor trending application that uses historical data and gives GVPs a weekly snapshot of how they are using their labor budget. Today, we have expanded our set of applications to include employee turnover and key factors.
WEAKNESSES: Since we have such a large number of remote users and our update cycle for new screens for the end user is about every six months, we need an automated way to distribute screens. The current version of Decision does not provide that functionality.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Comshare, using their GUI Decision Desktop product, was the only vendor of the 10 interviewed able to complete the set of requirements.
DELIVERABLES: With a staff of four, our department can service the entire company. We have completed new applications in less than two days. We have automated the manual data entry for several of the applications and eliminated the errors that came along with it. Comshare Decision has provided Beverly Enterprises with information that makes the company more competitive by giving management and clinicians current information they can access themselves, analyze and make educated decisions. This results in the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.
VENDOR SUPPORT: The support we have received from Comshare has been a pleasure. We know when we call the help desk that we will immediately be routed to the person who will know the answer to our question. Their annual user conference has been an excellent source of new and innovative ways for us to analyze our data.
DOCUMENTATION: Written documentation for Comshare Decision Desktop is not as robust as we would like to see. Online help files are basic and need more examples to lead developers in application creation.
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