How BI Dashboards Help Identify Veterans with Chronic Conditions

Written by
Matt Ludlow
Published on
November 21, 2022

Data. Every big organization has a lot of it. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is no exception.  

A few years ago, the Veterans Health Agency (VHA) began work on building their Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW), accumulating clinical and administrative data from over 130 instances of VistA - VHA’s distributed electronic medical record system.

Since Veterans frequently receive care from multiple facilities over the course of time, their complete medical record ends up distributed across several VistA instances. Accumulating the data into a single database provides a consolidated view of care provided by all VHA facilities.  However, collecting over 23 years’ worth of clinical data for more than 9 million Veterans comes with its own set of challenges.

In addition to a huge store of data, it is also necessary to have a performant analytics platform and good analytic/data visualization tools to facilitate leveraging the amassed set of clinical data to support enhanced clinical decision support, which lead to better clinical outcomes.

InnoVet Health has had the opportunity to be part of a Business Intelligence (BI) dashboarding project to do just that!

To make this goal a reality, we use an interactive data visualization and business intelligence software to turn unrelated sources of data into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights.

BI Dashboards allow us to use large volumes of patient data as input and design a condition-focused dashboard that our clinicians can use to better treat their patients. This software program uses different sources of data from sources such as data warehouses, Excel spreadsheets, and various other databases that is cleaned so we can apply Human Centered Design principles to create an engaging interactive dashboard.  

These dashboards aim to help clinicians identify patients with chronic kidney disease, obesity, and diabetes, just to name a few. This means that with just a few clicks, a clinician can narrow a cohort of patients from two million to about 40, filtering down large quantities of data instantaneously, identifying patients at-risk.  

To make this possible, we work together with data scientists, data engineers, and subject matter experts to create these dashboards, or cohort of patients, to meet the clinical guidelines for these chronic diseases, which can be up to millions of patients!

Because of business intelligence tools like BI dashboards, we eliminate the need for clinicians to search for a needle in a haystack. Instead, we pull the needles out of the haystack and gently set them on a workbench for our clinicians to then treat their patients.

We are proud to be part of a data sharing movement that allow us to provide better heath care for our patients and better provision for America’s Veterans.  

By: Matt Ludlow (BI Dashboard Designer at InnoVet Health)

About Us:

InnoVet Health is an IT consultant company specializing in AI and business intelligence, digital services, and health interoperability founded by MIT-alumni & informatics experts. Learn more about us on our website or reach out on LinkedIn. 

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