With 1,200 physicians, Mayo Clinic Health System is world-famous for its care delivery, drawing patients from across the globe to its flagship hospital in Rochester, Minn.

Mayo is among several large academic medical centers participating in a collaborative data warehouse project sponsored by the American Medical Group Association. Running on software developed by Humedica, a clinical analytics vendor, the warehouse gives participating hospitals the opportunity to compare their own quality metrics against their peers and write individualized data queries as well.

When it comes to granting access to the analytics database, however, Mayo takes a measured approach. “We control the use and the release of any data,” says Alan Krumholz, M.D., vice president and director of quality outcomes. “If you let lots of people have access to data they don’t understand, you have chaos.”

During his presentation at Health Data Management’s upcoming Healthcare Analytics Symposium & Expo (July 15-17 in Chicago), Krumholz will describe Mayo’s approach to governing the use of such large-scale data sets. “We have a tight structure,” Krumholz says. “We limit the use of the analytics system to super-users in our four regions. They are trained to interpret data and know how to use the database.”

Mayo’s central analytics project is focused on reducing readmissions for congestive heart failure patients, Krumholz says. “Providers are busy so we are trying to keep the focus narrow,” he says. The CHF project began two months ago and piggybacks on the analytics database, which went live at Mayo late last year. The analytic tools can predict which patients are likely to be readmitted for CHF, he says. Mayo’s clinical informatics experts can generate those lists, vet them for accuracy, and then distribute them to appropriate care managers across the health system’s delivery centers—which encompass Minnesota, Wisconsin, Florida and Arizona.

Mayo is a relative newcomer to the EHR technology which generates data for inclusion in the analytics data warehouse. Two years ago, it completed its roll-out of an enterprise EHR, from Cerner, according to Krumholz. “We don’t have a lot of solid integrated data yet,” he acknowledges. “But we now have this tool to the start the process of population health management. We are striving for best practices with CHF patients to standardize care delivery across the organization.”

Krumholz’s talk, “Developing a Governance System to Support Care Coordination and Improved Performance Across Health Systems,” takes place on Tuesday, July 16, at 9:30 a.m. Visit here for more information about the symposium.

This story originally appeared at Health Data Management.

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