REVIEWER: Nora Lissy, R.N., B.S.N. MBA, and decision support director for Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

BACKGROUND: Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) is a publicly owned and operated 826-bed regional health care facility founded in 1925. The hospital, with more than 3,000 employees and 1,000 volunteers, has specializations in heart, cancer and neuroscience services as well as a level III neonatal intensive care unit.

PLATFORMS: SMH runs The Diver Solution from Dimensional Insight on its own dedicated Windows 2000 server. The server is configured with a 2.4 GHz Xeon processor and 2GB of RAM.

PROBLEM SOLVED: As with any hospital facility, it is crucial for SMH to have updated information for operational planning. In 2004, the senior operating counsel asked that the decision support services department develop a facility-wide, biweekly productivity report to aid in analyzing the financial situation of the hospital. Prior to implementing Diver, we faced the arduous task of manually putting reports together that were outdated by the time the processes of data collection and assembly were completed. The Diver Solution has allowed us to automate the creation of the reports and also the associated analysis of the data. This turned a three- or four-day project into an easy process that requires a few mouse clicks. By using Diver, we have been able to eliminate financial losses incurred in past fiscal years related to overtime and other staffing costs.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Using Diver, directors and managers send the COO a weekly report containing volumes, costs, hours worked and any other key indicators pertaining to department operations. This provides our staff with a better picture of budgets and quality goals. Our productivity reports are also now online, automatically updating managers with an instant, current analysis of any given department. On the clinical side, each department can look in the system to determine which patients may be admitted from the emergency room. This has helped us take a proactive approach to bed utilization and nurse staffing. In doing so, we have found a more balanced approach to running the clinical side of our business.

STRENGTHS: The ability to take information from disparate systems and combine it to provide multiple reports is the main strength of Diver. Another advantage of implementing The Diver Solution is that by allowing senior management to analyze facility-wide staffing data, we have seen an ROI of 10 times the original investment through the recovery of more than 600 staff hours. Another strength of Diver is that now that it has been used to provide information from various sources, it has become the tool of choice that all departments want for their data analysis.

WEAKNESSES: In order to take full advantage of The Diver Solution, the decision support department has developed many of its own customized data integration programs. While The Diver Solution is the only product that allows this level of functionality, we have found that there is a bit of a learning curve.

SELECTION CRITERIA: While SMH purchased The Diver Solution prior to my becoming the director, I have looked at other overlay products, which do not equate to the Diver product. Our decision to implement The Diver Solution was influenced by the achievements that two other leading area hospitals had with this product. The Diver Solution sold itself because the potential benefits were obvious.

DELIVERABLES: An end user can make decisions about the clinical and financial operations of the facility through the use of dashboards that deliver key performance indicators and customized portals. The charts and graphs that are accessed in the analytic interface allow users to "dive" into data without being restricted by a preset hierarchy. It is very user friendly, and middle management as well as senior management love it for its ease of use and versatility.

VENDOR SUPPORT: The support that we have received from Dimensional Insight (DI) has been remarkable. DI's senior health care consultant worked on site while we were implementing Diver. The implementation of the main dashboard was completed in just two weeks. I have confidence in knowing that if there is a problem, day or night, we can be in constant contact to resolve the issue via phone or email; however, there are very few times when The Diver Solution has been down.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation for the nontechnical end user is very simple. For back-end users, a more complex set of documentation and tutorials is available.

The Diver Solution
Dimensional Insight
111 South Bedford Street
Burlington, MA 01803
(781) 229-9111

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