Saving Patients With Digital Analytics

Claudius Metze

Created under the auspices of the the Seoul National University Healthcare System, the Seoul National University Bundang Hospital (SNUBH) began treating patients 13 years ago. SNUBH continues to operate as one of the System’s specialty branches and currently stands as South Korea’s national medical research hospital, dedicated to the study and treatment of geriatric diseases. It also serves as a general and emergency medical center and provides a range of services to the regional population.

SNUBH is devoted to pioneering innovative ventures in many medical fields, including research and development, engineering, and information technology. It has the distinction of being the first paperless hospital in the Asia-Pacific region. SNUBH reaffirmed its position at the vanguard in 2006, instituting an innovative health information exchange. In 2010, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) honored SNUBH with an Analytics Stage 7 Award. This was the first time that the HIMSS gave this distinction to a hospital outside the United States.

Harnessing power of advanced digital analytics

Modern data analytics powered by strong digital platforms are changing the face of the healthcare industry. Edward Yang wrote about the place of data in medicine, addressing the topic directly in his book, Health and Healthcare at the Crossroads of Business and Society. Mr. Yang discusses how digital technology helped the Human Genome Project more quickly understand the information that is stored in DNA samples.

SNUBH provides another great example of how Big Data is revolutionizing healthcare: Genomics, proteomics, and personal lifestyle information have transformed SMUBH’s medical practices. The hospital remains on the cutting-edge, using new medical technology as the healthcare paradigm continues to shift. Its current digital platform supports an automated clinical indicators system. It can also gather critical data in real time and uses its innovative digital analytics platform to process quarterly data in 2 seconds. This process used to take up to two months to organize and analyze.

Dr. Soo Young Yoo, an assistant research professor at the SNUBH Center for Medical Informatics, points out several factors that are critical in the modern healthcare workplace, such as managing clinical indicators and pulling relevant information out of a huge data warehouse. “With that data, “ he says, “doctors can ensure the correct treatment is prescribed and monitor results.”

Seoul National University Bundang Hospital significantly reduces antibiotic cycles

SNUBH has used data analytics to reduce antibiotic usage prior to surgeries in recent years. The national standard in South Korea has been unchanged for quite some time: Physicians administer powerful third-line antibiotics for between five and six days before surgery. In contrast, United States physicians typically administer antibiotics for just one to two days before surgery. They also prescribe first-line antibiotics that are far weaker and less expensive.

SNUBH followed the clinical indicators from powerful data analysis to reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics. In fact, the hospital reduced its use of third-line preoperative antibiotics to zero, and administration of antibiotics to patients prior to surgery fell from six days to one.

There are many benefits to this reduction in antibiotic prescriptions. It lowers drug costs, of course, and it also helps decrease the length of in-patient stays and cuts the risks associated with antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic usage rates are only one of 320 clinical indicators the SNUBH currently tracks and analyzes. Rapid access to these indicators can make a critical difference. Speed is everything when delivering and monitoring patient outcomes. In the past, gathering data from as recently as three months ago might haven take up to an hour to access. Modern IT platforms have greatly accelerated the rate of information retrieval. SNUBH’s innovative digital core facilitates the retrieval of up to 10 years of research data 700 times faster than traditional methods.

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Claudius Metze

About Claudius Metze

Claudius Metze is a senior solution architect within the Healthcare Industry Business Unit within SAP. He is responsible for clinical innovations and digital transformation for Healthcare providers.