How Power 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 VA pioneered a project that partnered with their Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW) bringing in data from every VA hospital across the nation under one roof. Under one system. The idea is that with this patient health data now in one system, the VA can make meaningful changes in the workflow of clinicians and in the lives of patients, allowing clinicians to focus on the patients who most urgently need their attention and expertise.

But what we’ve found is having a large amount of data in one mega system isn’t enough. Plenty of healthcare organizations have thousands of tables and millions of rows worth of healthcare data. The reality is having eons of tables and rows alone doesn’t matter if it doesn’t result in better health care and provision for our patients.

InnoVet Health has had the opportunity to be part of a dashboarding project at the VA to do just that! To make this goal a reality, we use Power BI, Microsoft’s interactive data visualization and business intelligence software, to turn unrelated sources of data into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights.

Power BI Dashboards

Power BI allows 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 Power BI, 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 (Power 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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